Farmers across South Holland, the Deepings and Bourne are being urged to have their say on the future of British agriculture outside of the European Union (EU).
The NFU launched its “post-Brexit” survey to find out members’ views on food and farming policies in the years ahead at Whaplode Manor, Saracen’s Head, almost three months after the UK voted to leave the EU in a referendum held on June 23.
Donington farmer Chris Wray, chairman of NFU Holland (Lincs) branch, chaired the meeting which included speeched by NFU president Meurig Raymond and the union’s acting chief economist Andrew Francis.
Mr Raymond said: “The vote to leave the EU means that food security must drive a new, bold ambition for UK farmers and growers.
“This is an historic opportunity the NFU is determined to seize but currently there are lots of uncertainties, with trade agreements, labour, financial support and legislation all up in the air.
“The NFU is committed to providing this industry with leadership and we will consult our members, in every sector and in every county, to ensure that they have a say in shaping the future of farming for them, their children and their grandchildren.
We want our NFU members to grasp with both hands the opportunity to share their views during what is the biggest consultation on the industry’s future in the our historyNFU president Meurig Raymond
“We want our NFU members to grasp with both hands the opportunity to share their views during what is the biggest consultation on the industry’s future in the our history.
“This is their chance to shape the future for our industry, for them and for all future generations of British farmers and growers.”
NFU members have been asked to consider the principles outlined in a consultation document, “Shaping a New and Dynamic Future for Agriculture and Horticulture,” reflecting the priorities of a food and drink industry which is worth an estimated £108 billion and employing nearly four million people.
The 40-strong audience at the Whaplode Manor meeting heard from the NFU president and Mr Francis about the options for farm policy “post-Brexit”, as well as issues surrounding labour availability, future domestic farming policy and access to UK markets for food produced to lower standards outside the EU.
Richard Hezlet, NFU East Midlands regional director, said: “We have a precious opportunity to set in place a framework that will allow farm businesses to flourish, bearing in mind that we are only 60 per cent self-sufficient in home-produced food and we can do far better than that.
“This is far too important a matter to be left to others and that is why we are urging all our members, particularly the NFU’s next generation, to contribute to this vital consultation.”
For more details, visit http://www.nfuonline.com/news/farming-and-the-eu/eu-referendum-news/the-principles-behind-our-historic-eu-consultation/