23 June 2000
Farm leaders pledge to work together

By FWi staff

TWO farmers leaders from England and Scotland attempted to put aside their differences and present a united front at the Royal Highland Show.

Ben Gill, president of the National Farmers Union, and Jim Walker, president of the National Farmers Union of Scotland, pledged to work more closely together.

In the past, the two men have broadly agreed on many agricultural matters. But they have also disagreed when it comes to specific issues.

More recently, Mr Walker voiced opposition to the British Farm Standard logo, designed by the London-based NFU in a bid to boost sales of British food.

Scottish farmers had already spent a lot of time and money developing Scottish brands, and the kitemark had no place north of the border, he said.

At the Highland showground outside Edinburgh, however, Mr Walker and Mr Gill co-hosted a joint press conference on Friday (23 June).

It was Mr Gills first visit to the show. He came after an invitation from Mr Walker, who pledged an increasingly close relationship between the two unions.

Mr Walker said: “Maybe we dont always agree but at least were talking.”

Mr Gill said it made sense to work together when dealing with UK-wide issues such as the strength of sterling and the amount of red-tape in farming.