Proposals for “greening” the Common Agricultural Policy are “absolutely bonkers” and present a major threat to food supplies that could leave UK farmers with vast areas of unproductive land, according to NFU president Peter Kendall.

Mr Kendall told a meeting on CAP at NFU Askham Bryan College near York on 27 October that the proposals were complex.

“While the massive increase in the bureaucracy required to administer and enforce the complexities of the reforms will present a huge challenge, the ponderous and blunt approach to greening the CAP is absolutely bonkers at a time when tackling world food production is a priority.

“Why take 7% of Europe’s farmland out of production as a means of greening policy when we’ve just been told that the world population is at a record level of seven billion.”

Mr Kendall added that farming was the biggest and most successful manufacturing industry in Europe, so why was it being singled out and forced to cut its output at a time of economic crisis?

“Farming can be a major driver in economic growth if you take off the shackles. We’ve had to cope with a lot of talk about food security but the current proposals have nothing to do with ensuring we produce enough food to feed more and more people,” said Mr Kendall.


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