18 May 1998
Farming alliance calls for ‘rural charter’
FARMING industry leaders and environmentalists are joining forces in a bid to influence government policies on agriculture.
A conference bringing both camps together has been set for 27 May and will attempt to draw up a “rural charter” designed to make government more sympathetic to the rural cause.
The charter would define the economic and social needs of rural areas as Whitehall and the European Union move away from supporting agriculture though production subsidies.
The London meeting is the brainchild of Ben Gill, president of the National Farmers Union of England and Wales. It will be attended by representatives from TheWomens Food and Farming Union, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, the Royal Society for Protection of Birds, the Soil Association and leaders of the agro-chemical, farm machinery agricultural and supply trades and road haulage industries.
The move coincides with new figures from the Agricultural Engineers Association yesterday which disclosed that sales for new tractors dropped 48.8% last month compared with April 1997.
- The Daily Telegraph 18/05/98 page 8