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TFA Looking for Change from Brown and Benn
01/07/07

The Tenant Farmers Association has urged Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his new Secretary of State for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Hilary Benn MP to re-engage with the farming community.

TFA National Chairman
Reg Haydon OBE
reg haydon

Speaking at this year’s Royal Agricultural Show, TFA National Chairman Reg Haydon OBE said, “Farmers will remember the past administration for its broken promises and Mr Brown must learn from this. In his first press conference, on the steps of 10 Downing Street, Mr Brown promised to make changes in light of voters' concerns - that must include the concerns of farmers”.

“The 1997 Labour Party, General Election Manifesto promised to deal with the burden of regulation on the industry but over Mr Blair’s 10 years in office that burden has got worse. There was also the promise not to repeat the mistakes of the Conservatives in handling BSE in any future disease outbreak yet the handling of the Foot and Mouth Disease epidemic in 2001, particularly in its early days, led to mayhem in the industry and the wider rural economy and the ongoing shambles that is the Government’s policy on bovine TB is shameful” said Mr Haydon.

“In 2001 Labour promised to assist with an out-goers scheme for farmers but this was quickly dropped as soon as the Labour Party was re-elected to Government. Mr Blair also promised to assist in breaking the ‘arm-lock’ of the supermarkets but instead we have seen supermarket power become even stronger since Labour first came to power. He said that he recognised the special needs of people who live and work in rural areas and yet his actions and policies show that that was far from the truth especially in relation to the agricultural community” said Mr Haydon.

“Mr Brown and Mr Benn must appreciate the fundamental importance of farming to our future development and security as a nation. If climate change, whatever its direction, is going to make it more difficult for some parts of the world to produce food we should be ensuring that we have an industry that can feed our population long-term. Current Government policy which is causing a major exodus from the industry is short-sighted in the extreme. If our supplies of energy, particularly oil, continue to come from parts of the world which at best are unfriendly and at worst blatantly hostile to the west in general and Britain in particular, shouldn’t we be doing more to encourage our farmers to produce alternatives that ensure our long term energy security?” said Mr Haydon.

“I will be speaking to the new Secretary of State when he is guest speaker at the TFA’s joint reception with Barclay’s Bank on the Monday of this year's Royal Show and I will be stressing these points to him” said Mr Haydon.

link Cull Options for TB Infected Badgers Must Be Examined Now
link A Taster for the Year of Food and Farming at the Great Yorkshire Show
link Lady Byford elected RABDF president

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