21 April 1998
NFU seeks alliance with agricultural
manufacturers, suppliers

By FWi staff

FARM leaders hope to create a formal alliance with agricultural manufacturers and suppliers. Its aim will be to show the Government just how badly the agricultural recession has hit the whole of the farming sector.

NFU officials yesterday (Monday) confirmed they have been meeting behind closed doors since before Christmas with trade representatives of major machinery makers, fertiliser manufacturers and feed merchants. A formal alliance is expected to be announced next week.

The new alliance will pool resources to gather hard evidence showing that the crisis is largely due to the strong Pound, high interest rates, and failure to sign up for European Monetary Union.

Richard Macdonald, NFU director general, said that the crisis gripping UK agriculture threatened to bankrupt the businesses that rely on farmers as their main customers.

“This is not about a few farmers making a noise,” he added. “If you can think of an allied industry of any size, then they will be on board.”

A detailed dossier showing the negative impact on the whole industry of the farming crisis will be presented to agriculture ministers later this year, Mr Macdonald said.