NFU President will call for European GCA to tackle unfair trading practices

John Deere Limited’s special 50th anniversary Celebration & Heritage Event at Langar on September 24 and 25 was a huge success for visitors and participants alike. An estimated 14,000 people from across the UK and Ireland attended the weekend’s festivities, which included activities and entertainment for the whole family.

The Mayor of Rushcliffe officially opened the event on Saturday morning, with the Gator utility vehicle ride & drive track and a guided tour of the Langar premises proving to be particularly popular. In addition, the machinery parades and working field demonstrations of tractors, ploughs and combines of all ages represented probably the largest ever gathering of John Deere heritage equipment outside the US.

Here are some examples of typical comments posted by visitors to John Deere’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/JohnDeereUKIE:

“I just felt I have to comment on what an amazing event you put on at Langar this past weekend. The sheer effort that must have gone into all the events and the organisation was very much appreciated. Not to mention it all being free!”

“Absolutely fantastic day today at your show and your staff were so friendly, thanks very much for organising such a great event and I’m not even a farmer.”

NFU President Meurig Raymond will call for a European equivalent of the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) to be introduced at a food supply chain seminar hosted by the European political group European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).

Set to speak alongside the GCA Christine Tacon in Brussels, Mr Raymond will emphasise the need for British farmers to have the same kind of protection they enjoy domestically when they trade abroad.

He will reiterate that open and fair access to European markets remain a high priority for the wider UK rural economy, an issue that will become even more important in negotiations on the UK’s future outside the EU.

In his address to the seminar Mr Raymond will say: “As well as strong regulation at a European level we wish to see an independent enforcement office, such as the GCA introduced. I know there are many who fear that this will lead to overzealous European regulation – but implemented in a proper way this will give producers the security and confidence they so badly need.

“The purpose of this is to give suppliers the confidence to highlight unfair trading practices in a confidential way. This confidentiality is crucial as submitting evidence on unfair trading practices can be very damaging for a supplier, if this information is within the public domain. British farmers, like many across Europe want to be competitive and wish to operate on a global stage.

“The UK farming unions were disappointed that President Juncker failed to mention this vital issue in his State of the European Union last week. This is a clear example of an area where European oversight is badly needed and we urge the Commission to come forward with legislation providing meaningful protection for Europe’s farmers and shoppers.”

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