4 July 2000
Tories’ election manifesto for farming

By FWi staff

THE Conservative Party has launched the document which will form the core of its manifesto for British farming at the next general election

Shadow Agriculture Minister Tim Yeo launched the document – A Fair Deal For Farmers – during a visit to the Royal Show on Tuesday (4 July).

British farmers should have the chance of producing a significant proportion of the countrys food, he told reporters at a press conference.

“We believe agriculture is the foundation of a successful rural economy. A prosperous and enlightened farmer is the best guardian of the rural environment.”

Producers are being restricted by red-tape emanating from Brussels which is then “gold-plated” by the Labour government at Westminster, Mr Yeo added.

The document concentrates on the immediate impact of the farming crisis on a wide range of sectors, including the prospects for tenants and young farmers.

It calls for honest labelling, less bureaucracy, a level playing field for British producers and honest competition between domestic and imported food.

A Conservative government would ban imported meat reared from animal fed on antibiotics which are banned in the UK, said Mr Yeo.

“A strong line needs to be taken where there is a case, on health grounds, for not allowing any of this food in at all,” he said.

Tenant farmers have suffered severe losses in the present crisis and it is important that they are given the opportunity to flourish, said Mr Yeo.

A Conservative government would aim to use rural development funding to introduce an early retirement scheme for farmers, he added.

Younger farmers would be encouraged to enter the industry through a scheme which would make milk and livestock quota more affordable.

Mr Yeo attended the show with 12 prospective parliamentary candidates after party leader William Hague cancelled a scheduled visit.