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Stackyard News May 2010

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Food and Water Must Be Meat and Drink for New Government

This is the message from Guy Sampson of Rural Agents George F. White on reading the government’s coalition statement. Guy gives us his views:


cows in mist

The coalition’s statement on the environment, food and rural affairs expresses the desire to tackle problems of livestock disease and the regulatory burden for farmers.

“These aspirations are to be welcomed and the industry will be interested to hear more details of the proposals.” says Guy

He continues: “On the subject of climate change however, the statement omits several matters which will need to be addressed by clear governance in the future.”

“Two of the effects of climate change which will be felt most by you and me are the impacts on water supplies and the problem of food security”

“As populations grow, farmers can expect to come under increasing pressure to produce food. However this is something which will be made more challenging by the problems of limited water availability and farmland flooding as weather patterns become more extreme.”

“The government urgently needs to decide how this is to be addressed, especially in light of the current political regime which encourages farmland to be flooded to protect poorly sited development and farmers not to maximise productivity for environmental purposes. The way these dilemmas are tackled will prove a good indicator of the new government’s understanding of the rural economy and their seriousness in addressing the long term effects of climate change.”

Guy Sampson can be contacted on 01665 603231

George F. White has offices in Alnwick and Tyne Valley in Northumberland, Wolsingham and Barnard Castle in County Durham, Bedale in North Yorkshire, Shiptonthorpe near York and Park Lane in London

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