Peter Kendall, President of the NFU, today announced his immediate
policy priorities for the coming months at a press conference
Speaking at his first press conference since his election in
February, Mr Kendall outlined the attitude, priorities and vision
of the new officer holder team, which includes Meurig Raymond
(Deputy President) and Paul Temple (Vice President).
He said: “We’re looking forward to a new era in
farming - one which is positive and profitable. Last week’s
announcement of the lifting of the beef embargo was the best
news we’ve had as an industry for a decade. Let’s
make it a turning point for us.
“Our immediate policy priorities are:
Single Farm Payment
We want farmers to start building for the future but they are
still wading through paperwork at a time when they should be
moving on. We have a number of major concerns- one is that
the process will continue to drag on; confusion and lack of
clarity over the rules; how fruit and vegetable growers will
be treated; trading difficulties and the risk that the 2006
process will get off on the wrong foot. The NFU will do everything
possible to get cash to farmers.
The English programme for 2007-13 has to be submitted by June.
We are working quickly to refine our priorities, in the light
of new funding arrangements. Hill farming payments are a priority
It is vital that we achieve a commitment to future match funding
of rural development, in order to minimize modulation.
We are working for a genuine partnership and a fair package,
including valuations, pre-movement testing and eradication
of all sources of infection.
Nitrate Vulnerable Zones
The imminent consultation on a revised action programme is a
vital issue for many farmers, particularly dairy farmers.
Supply chain imbalance
The announcement of another OFT enquiry is welcome, but the remit
seems too narrow, and we must beware that the enquiry (which
is likely to last two years) is not used as an excuse for inaction.
We need to attack this problem from many angles, not just the
We will be looking to the budget announcement on March 22 for
further progress on biofuels and biomass.
The eight principles drawn up by the team are:
So far we have avoided the disease, we have not suffered too
much from scare-mongering and consumption has held up. But
we have suffered the knock-on consequences of the export bans
on France, and falls in consumption on the continent. Action
at EU level is almost certainly required.”
Mr Kendall and the office holder team also developed eight key
priorities which they hope will form the backbone of a policy
and business plan for the NFU.
- Presenting a positive image of modern agriculture.
for profitable production in agriculture and horticulture
- Removing discrimination against British farmers
wherever it may occur
- Working towards a properly functioning
and transparent food chain.
- Reducing the burden of regulation
on farmers and ensuring regulations are based on sound science
- Developing sound and genuine partnerships
- Using research,
development and science to the benefit of agriculture and horticulture
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