Farmer leaders to meet Bank chief

07 September 1998

Farmer leaders to meet Bank chief

THE crippling impact of the strong Pound will head the agenda when
NFU president Ben Gill and director general Richard Macdonald meet Eddie George, governor of the Bank of England, tomorrow (Tuesday, 8 September).

On the eve of the meeting, Mr Gill said: “The strength of Sterling is
hitting every sector from pig farmers to cereals producers.

“The high Pound is making our exports uncompetitive on European
markets while cheaper imports are flooding into the UK. Product prices
are feeling the impact with finished beef and milk prices, for
example, slumping by over 30% in the past three years.”

Mr Gill added that farm incomes, which slumped by almost 50% last
year, were expected this year to fall to the lowest level in more than
25 years. Agricultural investment had been slashed, with the latest
July tractor sales down 41% on the year, combine sales 25%-30% below
last years levels and other machinery registering a 34% fall in

“We will impress upon the Governor the absolute necessity for downward
pressure on the pound if our industry is to find its way out of the
crisis facing agriculture,” he said.

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