NFU Conference 2014: In quotes

A series of high-profile speakers have been on the podium during the 2014 NFU Conference which takes place in Birmingham (25/26 February).

The event is also attended by hundreds of farmers who use it as an opportunity to raise their concerns with both the union and policy makers.

Here is what farmers and farm leaders were saying at the conference:

Departing NFU President Peter Kendall on tweeting:  “Perhaps now I’m stepping down, the NFU will dare to let me tweet”.
Happy memories for Peter Kendall:  “My son said he learnt so many swear words listening to me and Richard Macdonald talking on the phone.”
DEFRA minister George Eustice on team spirti:  “I don’t think you’ve ever had a ministerial team as in tune with the countryside as we are.”
New Zealand livestock farmer and High Commissioner to the UK Sir Lockwood Smith:  “The new Zealand story demonstrates the benefits of diversifying markets and making agriculture responsive to the global market place.  Don’t delay otherwise others will grasp these opportunities.”
Sir Lockwood Smith on CAP:  “CAP remains the biggest impediment to the UK.”
Sainsbury Group chief executive Justin King on the Red Tractor scheme: “Why would Sainsbury wish to lend credibility to a label that frankly anybody can stick on their packaging.  These kind of industry initiatives are the refuge of scoundrels.”
Edward Garner from Kantar World Panel on the horsemeat scandal:  “Do you know why frozen lasagna is covered in so much cheese?  To mascarpone!”.
 DEFRA minister George Eustice on TB:   “ I think it may take up to 25 years to eradicate bovine TB.”
Grower and former FW Farmer of the Year Guy Poskitt on politicians:  “We need politicians to guide us on policy issues but we definitely don’t need them to tell us how to farm”.
Wall Street investor Jim Rogers on future farming lifestyles:  “I tell brokers they will soon be driving taxis. And, if they were smart they will be driving tractors, because the farmers will be driving Lamborghinis in the future.”