1 December 1995

Naish calls out for separatism

WELL thought out separate agricultural, rural and environmental policies are what UK farming needs.

Politicians who attempt to link the three were heavily criticised by NFU president Sir David Naish at a FarmTech outlook forum attended by the Minister of Agriculture.

He also slammed sound bite criticism of the EU, which he claimed damaged attempts to get a fair deal for British farmers.

Significant further reform of the CAP was unlikely before 1999, but it would come, he said. Either there would be more constraints on production or a move away from price support.

Farmer Poul Christensen, Oxfordshire, said he could not recall a time when the industry was getting so many mixed messages. He too forecast reduced support and that farmgate prices would become more unpredictable.

"Do not be misled into thinking good marketing is just producing what the customer wants," Mr Christensen added. "The current thrust towards better marketing, which is long overdue, is in danger of putting farmers at the bottom of a vertically-integrated industry without proper and fair price making mechanisms."

He urged the Minister and other politicians to make up their minds what they wanted from farmers, and give them time to adapt. "Do not manipulate policy in one area in the hope of affecting another area."

Robert Davies

Plan separate policies – that is the call from Sir David Naish.