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Stackyard News Oct 06

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    Prime Minister Backs CLA Initiative

CLA President, David Fursdon, said during a vist to the Vale of Glamorgan today (Thursday 19 October) that he has won the support of the Prime Minister in the CLA's latest drive to keep farming profitable.  Mr Fursdon and the CLA policy and communications team met Tony Blair and David Miliband at 10 Downing Street earlier this month.

David Fursdon

David Fursdon

He said he had stressed to Mr Blair how important it is to keep farming profitable.  And he outlined the difficulties farmers are facing, despite being among the most efficient in the world.

"We were delighted that the Prime Minister was so supportive of our determination to create a culture in which people ask where the food on their plate comes from", Mr Fursdon told South Wales CLA members at Fonmon Castle near Barry.

"We impressed upon him that Agriculture not only underpins the rural economy, it sustains rural communities and has created the landscape and environment valued across all sectors of society.

"The Prime Minister listened carefully to our concerns about the direction of UK farming policy, and especially the problems farmers are having trying to cope  with regulatory costs.

"He and David Miliband MP supported the CLA initiative, planned for its Centenary in 2007.  This will move the CLA's food labelling initiative onto the next stage by taking it to the consumers. 

"We explained that it aims to bring about a change in the attitude of the British public; to create a culture in which people ask where the food on their plate comes from".

Mr Fursdon said the CLA also pressed home the need for concrete tax measures to help increase the amount of available affordable housing in rural areas to help sustain rural communities. 

He added that the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State agreed with the CLA that it was important to increase the amount of land-based renewable energy in the UK - much more than we have so far with wind power.  The CLA has recently published a report in partnership with the University of East Anglia into land management and climate change.

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