16 July 1999

Producers are miffed at ministerial snubs

MANY farmers attending this weeks Great Yorkshire Show were disenchanted that, despite the ongoing problems in agriculture, no government ministers attended.

Farm minister Nick Brown turned down an invitation to visit the show and did not send any of his junior ministers.

Some took the absence as a clear sign that the minister and the government did not care about the industrys plight.

John Rowbottom, a pig farmer from Melbourne, York, and a leading light in the British Pig Industry Support Group, described Mr Browns failure to attend the show as nothing more than he would have expected.

The minister had treated the industry with utter contempt and should resign, Mr Rowbottom said.

Richard Betton, chairman of North Riding and Durham NFU, felt Mr Brown should at the very least have sent a junior minister to the show.

However, Mr Betton added that provided the minister was working on behalf of the industry to get beef exports flowing again he would not be too worried about his absence.