By Aimee Mahony, chief poultry advisor, NFU
Sometimes the process of influencing policy makers can feel frustrating. We’d all like speedy and favourable decisions but there are often larger factors at play which might not initially be obvious or of equal importance to all concerned.
Through my work at the NFU I have witnessed on numerous occasions the amount of information required to influence the decisions of political stakeholders. Our strength when it comes to providing such evidence is our members. Of late there have been several long-term workstreams that have concluded with positive outcomes for the poultry sector, where our members have been at the heart of decision making.
Firstly, the landmark legal challenge on Avian Influenza compensation which a group of NFU members recently won against the APHA. This victory has been well documented and is momentous in significance for the sector, having benefit beyond the seven claimants in the case.
Also AI related is the recent announcement of a consultation to remove the 16-week grace period in egg marketing standards legislation. The NFU first called for this change in October 2022 as part of our four key AI policy asks. Whilst addressing this issue has taken the government longer than we hoped, we are pleased this proposed amendment is now finally being consulted on.
Another recent Defra consultation has seen the egg sector under review and marks a big step forward in addressing fairness in the supply chain. This was a solution suggested at a Ministerial roundtable meeting in December 2022 amidst low producer confidence and egg availability issues. The review is unlikely to deliver ‘quick wins’ for the sector but is due to produce initial findings in mid-late March and we are closely following developments. Alongside this we continue to raise awareness with multiple stakeholders on the challenges that poultry meat growers continue to face.
Just with these examples we can see that lobbying work can be most effective when we have poultry producers at the heart of shaping the solutions. If you can passionately speak about what you need to ensure your business is profitable, progressive, and resilient, have you thought about applying to be part of the NFU’s national poultry board for 2024-2026?
Members who have undertaken this role in the past have found it worthwhile and have devotedly represented the sector, in some cases at an international level. The deadline for applications is Sunday 3 March 2024 and if you would like to find out more information about this rewarding and exciting role, then please visit the poultry pages of NFU online or feel free to get in contact with me directly.