Thrive or survive? NFU says new deal must allow farming to thrive

As the Oxford Farming Conference kick-starts 2017 – the year of Article 50 being triggered – the NFU is outlining how a new deal for farming could shape farming’s offer to the nation post-Brexit.

The NFU is calling on Government to focus on a policy that underpins the world-class farming being delivered in Britain, supported by the UK’s world-leading science base.

Ahead of her panel appearance1 at OFC, NFU Deputy President Minette Batters will say this policy will be vital for ensuring food security for Britain

Mrs Batters hopes to hammer home the need for a policy that includes, as its top priorities, full and unrestricted access to the European market as well as access to a competent and reliable workforce.

Mrs Batters is due to outline the risks and opportunities for the sector post-Brexit during the panel session: “The outstanding opportunity for me is having a policy tailor-made for our country and our sector. The ripple effect of this policy will be felt right through the food supply chain ending with the public – the people eating the food we produce. This opportunity must be grasped with both hands.

“Decisions on trade deals will and must shape the future of agriculture. These decisions will determine how competitive, productive and profitable farm businesses can be, which will dictate what farming can offer the nation. There are risks attached to this.

“Farming is a long-term business. I, like many farmers, am making decisions now for beef products hitting the market in the early part of 2020. Even with the best will and planning in the world, I’m making these decisions not knowing the trading environment I’ll be operating in.

“We have a unique and historic opportunity to influence a policy that could ensure British farming, the nation’s food production and the iconic British countryside thrives, not just survives.”

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