The NFU is urging the Government to make the Agriculture Bill truly agricultural by ensuring food production is at its heart, with a clear and overarching focus on productive farming.
Ahead of the Bill’s second reading in the House of Commons, the NFU has set out its key priorities for a domestic agricultural policy that recognises the role of farming and the wide array of services it provides to the nation including food, plants and flowers, energy and environmental management.
It says the Bill should:
· Promote the nation’s strategic priorities by supporting domestic agriculture to ensure food security.
· Promote improvements in the competitiveness and financial resilience of farm businesses, helping farmers to better manage risk and periods of poor market returns.
· Establish a multi-annual budgetary framework that provides certainty for farmers and allows them to plan and invest for the future.
· Value and protect British farming’s high production, animal welfare and environmental standards.
NFU President Minette Batters said: “The Agriculture Bill offers the Government a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the future of farming policy. A Bill that has an explicit and clear overarching agricultural focus, with food production at its heart, can ensure farmers continue to deliver sustainable food while maintaining our high environmental and animal welfare standards.
“As showcased during Back British Farming day, it is clear that British food and farming has overwhelming support from parliamentarians. We have seen it on countless occasions and today I am urging them to continue backing British farming by ensuring food production is at the heart of this Bill.
“British farmers and growers deliver the high-quality, traceable and affordable food that the British public expect and support. It is vital that a future policy enables British farmers to continue doing what they do best – producing food for the nation.”