The Ulster Farmers’ Union has announced the dates for its annual January meetings which will again take a roadshow type format. “We had a lot of positive feedback on last year’s meetings. Our aim was to generate discussion and debate, and this was achieved,” said UFU president Barclay Bell. The meetings will begin on 8th January in Enniskillen.
This year’s roadshow theme is ‘Farming and the Environment’. Brexit negotiations are ongoing and the UK has the opportunity to design its own domestic agriculture policy. DEFRA Secretary of State, Michael Gove has indicated that the current agricultural policy will change. “Mr Gove has shown he is supportive of a policy that delivers strong environmental benefits. Our view is that we can deliver a productive, progressive, sustainable and, most importantly, profitable farming sector, while delivering environmental good and we want to work with the Government and other industry partners to realise this,” said Bell adding that the UFU has invited representatives from environmental organisations to take part in a Brexit themed debate.
These road show events are an opportunity to hear members’ views, and for them to put questions directly to the UFU leadership team. However, the focus will be on the facilitated panel discussion. “We are expecting many questions and a spirited debate,” saidthe UFU president.
“Brexit, volatility, profitability, the supply chain, succession and animal and plant diseases are some of the many on-going issues we plan to update members on. All these issues continue to challenge our industry.”
Land tenure is also an area that the UFU plans to focus on and has invited representatives from the NI Rural Valuers’ Association to give a short presentation on this important issue. John McAllister, NI’s land mobility project manager, will also be available at these meetings to discuss succession planning.
Visit www.ufuni.org/events for more information about the UFU Winter Road Shows.