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Farmers are confused about what is expected of them by government, NFU vice president Paul Temple has warned.

Mr Temple said governments across the globe must embrace the importance of productive agriculture and reduce regulation that restricts competitive practice.

Speaking at an international conference in Finland on Thursday (9 Oct) he said that these were two key steps governments must take to ensure secure food production on a global scale.

In his role as chairman of the COPA-COGECA Arable Crops Committee, Mr Temple said if politicians did not grasp the importance of productive agriculture food production would continue without any long-term vision in an increasingly volatile world market.

“Farmers do farm for the long term and, uniquely as an industry, have broader values behind what they do than simply the bottom line but we are increasingly confused as to what is expected of us.

“This willingness to farm and produce often against the prevailing market circumstance should not be abused by either short term politics or an aggressive and inherently powerful retail supply chain.
 
“Farming is subjected to incredible levels of regulation, much of which places us at a global disadvantage for trade and production. At the same time our concerns over production and supply are being ignored. Last year’s dramatic price rise in the cost of food was caused by critical supply balance.
 
“With farming there is no instant fix to getting food supply wrong.  Just how many times can governments ignore the requirement to embrace productive agriculture to ensure responsible global food supply?”