Crisis in UK farming highlighted

Following a new package of measures from Commissioner Hogan, the UK farming union presidents have called on Defra, devolved administrations and the European Commission to work together in helping the UK farming sector.

Ahead of the monthly meeting of European agriculture ministers yesterday, the four UK farming union presidents met with the Defra Secretary of State Liz Truss at the NFU office in Brussels.

NFU Scotland President Allan Bowie also met with the Scottish Government. Amongst other issues, the presidents raised four urgent steps which could provide much needed relief to the struggling sector.

Allan Bowie, (NFUS President), Meurig Raymond, (NFU President), Ian Marshall (UFU President) and Stephen James (NFU Cymru President) said in a joint statement: “We are grateful to the Secretary of State and Scottish Government for taking the time to meet with us again.

“They understand the seriousness of the current crisis but we all agree that more has to be done to reduce pressure on farming businesses.

“Commissioner Hogan’s package of measures announced at yesterday’s Agriculture Council are a step in the right direction – we welcome increases to the limits for dairy intervention and steps to look into a new private storage aid scheme and are very pleased to see that the commission will establish a meat market observatory – a key UK farming union ask.

“But there are four key steps the Commissioner and the Secretary of State could take to help farmers in these difficult times: Removing tariffs on imported fertiliser is of the utmost importance; Work with the European Investment Bank needs to be speeded up; Greater market transparency is key; Reviewing the dairy intervention price could stabilise prices in the milk market.