British and Dutch farmers need certainty over the coming years to enable their businesses to thrive in this challenging period – this was the conclusion of a meeting held this week between NFU president Meurig Raymond and Marc Calon, president of the Dutch Farming Union, LTO Nederland.
The presidents met in London to discuss current issues including Brexit, plant protection and tackling unfair practices in the food chain.
The potential impact of Brexit on the industry is a priority issue for both farming leaders.
“We are an exporting country. Brexit has the potential to impact very negatively on Dutch farmers and growers. Everything must be done to ensure that trade in agricultural products continues as seamlessly as possible post Brexit” said Marc Calon.
Meurig Raymond said: “We have emphasised time and again the extent of our trade in food with the EU and that failure to secure a comprehensive trade deal would cause considerable disruption to farming in the UK. We must maintain clear and free trade flows with the EU where the vast majority of our food exports are headed”.
The two organisations have also worked closely over the past months to highlight the importance of reauthorising glyphosate:
“We need glyphosate in the plant protection toolbox for the future. It reduces the need to use other herbicides and is vital to enable us to continue producing high quality, safe food. However we need to emphasise also that it helps protect soil and cut greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the need for ploughing”, said Marc Calon.
Meurig Raymond said: “There can be no reason why glyphosate should not be reauthorised. We will be working with our Dutch friends and others across the EU to ensure the facts are heard before officials meet later this month in Brussels to vote on the issue.”
Both presidents welcomed recent developments in Brussels to try to tackle unfair trading practices within the food chain and will contribute to the commission consultation on the topic.
“We were interested to learn more about the Grocery Supplier Code of Practise (GSCOP) legislation and the Grocery Code Adjudicator (GCA) in the UK and measures being taken that might help rebalance power within the food supply chain. Farmers’ incomes depend on food chains that function properly and on delivering for the consumer. If we can work on a system that delivers a balance in the food chain without government interference, than we are very interested”, concluded Marc Calon.