23 November 2000
Meeting with Brown ‘useful’ – Gill

By FWi staff

FARMERS leaders described a meeting with agriculture minister Nick Brown as “useful” after he launched three task forces to tackle problems in agriculture.

Groups to examine milk supply chain relationships, farm input prices and hill farming were announced by Mr Brown on Thursday (23 November).

They were unveiled at a forum, hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture, which brought together farm leaders, retailers, caterers and government officials.

National Farmers Union president Ben Gill said that the new task forces must produce tangible results as soon as possible next year.

“These are core issues for the industry at the moment and I am pleased that we now have an opportunity to push them forward,” he said.

“Adding value is a key ingredient to delivery of better returns to UK farmers. Many farmers will not be able to wait long before they see results.”

The milk group should focus on supply chain partnerships, said Mr Gill.

The input task force should look at how farmers continue to find themselves disadvantaged with “unjustifiably high” input costs, he added.

The hill farming group should find the least disruptive way to change the way hill farmers receive their support payments, Mr Gill concluded.