The Tenant Farmers Association has called on all politicians to recognise the need for a constructive General Election campaign which enables Britain to best address the challenges that lie ahead.
TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn said “Today’s surprise announcement, assuming that it is endorsed by Parliament tomorrow, ushers in a further period of uncertainty at a time when we need to be putting in place the policy frameworks required for a post EU Britain. However, we are where we are and politicians from all shades of the political spectrum must show leadership in the forthcoming campaign by allowing constructive debate to enable the British people to make an informed choice when they go to the polls on 8 June.”
The TFA will be looking closely at the Party manifestos to understand what each would do with agricultural policy once we are no longer subject to the Common Agricultural Policy. Since before the EU referendum of June last year the TFA has argued for a new agricultural policy with the following objectives:
1. Corrects for market failures in supply chains to ensure fairer returns to farmers.
2. Reduces reliance upon imported, temperate produce to enhance food security.
3. Protects high standards of food safety, animal welfare and environmental impact and ensures equality of standards between domestically produced and imported products.
4. Enhances the economic productivity of agriculture and provides assistance with input and output price volatility.
5. Supports the delivery of public goods in the form of landscape management, biodiversity enhancement and public access.
6. Promotes longer term security for farm tenants.
“In a world which is becoming increasingly more insecure both through the rise of global terrorism and the straining of international relationships, is certainly time to look again at the need to increase our self-sufficiency in food as a nation. This is only heightened by the fact that we want high standards of production in relation to the environment, animal welfare and consumer safety which cannot be guaranteed by a greater reliance upon imported products. Whatever the makeup of the next UK administration it must not underestimate the need to ensure that it has a forward looking, comprehensive programme for British agriculture which protects it against unfair competition both at home and abroad, builds resilience and supports it to produce the wider benefits enjoyed by all for which there is no market return”, said Mr Dunn.