what farming offers is why farming matters: rory meets with NFU president at house of commons

The first meeting between the NFU and newly elected MPs took place at a packed reception in the House of Commons on Wednesday 19th May in an event that highlighted the vital doctrine ‘what farming offers is why farming matters’.

NFU President Peter Kendall met with Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart during the event to discuss where parliamentary support will be vital if it is to deliver.

Mr Stewart said: “The NFU is an incredible organisation with compelling views. We need to work our hardest to give it more force and weight within Westminster. I am committed to helping farmers and intend to travel to Brussels within the next couple of months to discuss with EU representatives what is happening in relation to the next generation Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), to be implemented in 2013. There are many, many issues in farming but perhaps the more important is the long-term strategic question of the future of the CAP. It is particularly important for upland hill farmers in Cumbria. I am concerned that French and Spanish negotiating teams are already far more advanced in discussions that their British counterparts in laying out the next stage of the CAP. We need to get our skates on to get the best possible deal for Cumbrian farmers.”

Mr Kendall said: “I hope this gathering of the NFU and new MPs is the first of many opportunities for us to forge ahead with solutions to the challenges facing us in the future. In the short term we need to work with MPs from across the House on a range of issues including the Common Agricultural Policy and Bovine TB.”

“Farmers and growers are rightly proud of their industry and are keen to be part of the solutions to the issues that are facing us all. Producing more food to feed a growing global population while impacting less on the environment, and in the face of dwindling natural resources, will be no easy task. However, I firmly believe that British agriculture is ready for that challenge.

“Being at Parliament today I have felt the change in the air. I would urge MPs to embrace this approach where many recognise that productive agriculture is an industry of critical importance to the nation; for its food security, its health and for its economic recovery.

“I believe that there is appetite for this government to remove the barriers which have, at times, restricted the success of UK agriculture and stifled its competitiveness. Whether it’s the tax regime or over burdensome regulation, I hope this new government will ensure that productive agriculture is at the heart of Defra’s new agenda.”

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