UK farming unions join forces, calling for food and farming to be front of any new UK agriculture policy

The UK’s farming union presidents will meet to discuss future farm policies and possible obstacles the industry will face during the UK’s negotiated departure of the EU, according to a joint statement from the union presidents.

The presidents of the four UK farming unions will meet at NFU England and Wales’ headquarters at Stoneleigh in Warwickshire on Monday, August 1.

Allan Bowie of NFU Scotland, Meurig Raymond of NFU; Stephen James of NFU Cymru and Barclay Bell of Ulster Farmers Union say they are committed to working together to enable the agriculture industry to prosper.

UK farming is a strong, dynamic sector with huge potential. That is why the coming months and years are vitally important to develop the right domestic farm policies that enable our great industry to prosper.

“There’s no doubt there will be hurdles to overcome which is why the four UK farming unions are committed to working together to ensure that farmers interests are protected in the UK’s negotiated exit from Europe,” the joint statement outlines.

The unions have already met on several occasions since the Brexit vote, and next Monday’s meeting will focus on sharing plans and each union’s vision for the industry post Brexit, according to the statement.

Agriculture is the UK’s largest manufacturing industry worth £108 billion. The unions say with this as their mandate they will continue to push their devolved governments to ensure food and farming is front and centre of any new domestic agriculture policy and for its potential as a real force to deliver the UK’s public goods is recognised.

“Politics change, sometimes dramatically as we have seen in recent weeks, but farming’s absolute importance to the UK does not; farmers will continue to feed our nation and play a part in feeding the world. Farmers will continue to provide the raw ingredients for a thriving food and drink sector.

“Together, the UK farming unions are 70,000 members strong. This combined strength will be vital for the journey ahead.”