The next government must devise a clear plan for agriculture if farmers are to meet food demands and rural Britain is to thrive, the Country Land and Business Association has said.
Setting out its priorities following the launch of the General Election campaign on Tuesday (6 April), the CLA said protecting the EU budget must be an “absolute priority” if food supplies are to be secured.
It said election candidates needed to consider the best way forward for the countryside if the challenges of food production and managing the environment are to be met.
William Worsley, CLA president, said: “Our members own and manage a vast array of different types of businesses in the countryside which create employment.
“It is in everyone’s interests if these businesses thrive and make a profit.”
To help rural businesses grow, Mr Worsley said the next government also needed to reform the planning system to make it “positive, flexible, transparent and efficient”.
Developing rural broadband was also vital to developing communities, he added.
“Despite recent government pledges to deliver superfast broadband, one third of the country still does not have adequate access.
“The CLA calls on the next government to ensure a speed of at least two megabits per second for every rural home and business before promising to deliver more to areas which currently have access.”
* For a FW comment on the Election, see Phil Clarke’s Business Blog