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    Government's Agricultural Vision Lacks Reality
19/10/06

The Tenant Farmers Association will today tell members of the House of Commons Environment Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee that the Government's vision for the Common Agricultural Policy lacks a sense of reality.



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TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn said "Whilst our own intelligence informs us that the Treasury is not minded to take the Select Committee's Inquiry particularly seriously, the TFA is, at least, pleased that it has chosen to look at the Government's CAP vision as I am sure, as in the past, it will produce insightful conclusions that we would all, Government included, be foolish to ignore".

"The issues addressed by the Government's CAP vision go to the very heart of the future of my members and the tenanted sector in agriculture as a whole. To put it bluntly, we in the Tenant Farmers Association reject the Government's vision. It is unviable, dangerous and not in the best interests of our nation. I say this not because it uses the results of outdated survey work predating the current reforms, or because it lacks any concern for food security or that it will allow us to export our environmental problems or even that it is selective about what it considers to be public benefits, all of which are true; but that it is naive in thinking that we can simply roll back the current support systems and allow the free market to sort out the consequences." said Mr Dunn.

"The Government does not appear to understand the basic truth that the market to which our producers would be exposed would be far from free in the economic sense and certainly far from fair. Recent experience in the milk and sugar sectors should act as an important wake up call in that regard" said Mr Dunn.

"Whilst the Tenant Farmers Association is not saying that the Common Agricultural Policy isn't broken, neither are we saying that it is beyond repair. It is less intellectually challenging to tear down, even if that takes place over a period of time, than to build up and we would suggest that the Government needs to think again" said Mr Dunn.

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