CLA president talks farming with Tony Blair

The Country Land and Business Association used a meeting with the Prime Minister on Tuesday (10 October) to stress the importance of a profitable agriculture sector to the rural economy and the wider rural community. 

“I expressed in clear terms to the Prime Minister the CLA’s concerns about the direction of UK farming policy; especially the problem of farmers’ capacity to cope with regulatory costs,” said CLA president David Fursdon. 

“I was particularly encouraged by the Prime Minister’s acknowledgement of the situation facing the dairy industry,” he added.

In addition to discussing the CLA’s submission to the Competition Commission’s enquiry in to the grocery market Mr Fursdon said he made a point of using farming specific examples to illustrate issues over planning and countering negative public opinion.

Also at the meeting was DEFRA secretary David Miliband, both voiced support for the CLA’s initiative planned for its Centenary in 2007.  This initiative will move the CLA’s food labelling initiative onto the next stage by taking it to consumers.  It aims to bring about a change in the attitude of the British public by creating a culture in which people ask where the food on their plate comes from.

The CLA also pressed home the need for concrete tax measures to help increase the amount of available affordable housing in rural areas to help sustain rural communities.

The CLA also emphasized the need for more sources of land-based renewable power other than wind.