Put farming at the heart of politics, NFU says

Farming must be put at the heart of the political agenda ahead of a general election to help the industry meet its production and environmental targets, the NFU has said.

Speaking at the launch of its “Why Farming Matters More Than Ever” campaign in London on Thursday (17 September), NFU president Peter Kendall said any future government must commit to helping the industry address the challenges it faces.

Announcing the union’s election manifesto, Mr Kendall identified seven areas, including investment, animal health and the environment, that an incoming government needed to address.

The manifesto also suggested policies a future government could implement to improve the industry, such as reviewing DEFRA quangos, an increase in research and an effective TB eradication plan.

“With a general election due next year this is our opportunity to set out the actions we would like an incoming government to take to allow the industry to respond to change,” Mr Kendall said.

“We are asking for policy commitments that are pragmatic considering the budgetry constraints.

“The manifesto proposes practical, easily implementable policies. We need to see a change before the election to put agriculture at the centre of our thinking.”

DEFRA secretary Hilary Benn welcomed the manifesto and said the government was intent on working in partnership with the industry to help farmers increase production while reducing environmental impact.

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