Kendall attacks 'failing' policy

Key Government strategies for growing and production have focused too much on past problems or "dismissed food security out of hand", NFU president Peter Kendall told visitors to last week's Royal Show.

Government policy lacked coherence and failed to tackle future challenges, he said.

Yet rising food prices and worries on food security gave us a "moral responsibility to maximise our production potential", he added.

"So far the signs are less than encouraging, with the Government keener to look backwards than to plan ahead and think strategically.

"Our calls for an early warning system - that compares our performance to European counterparts - have gone unheard.

"This failure has been compounded by the Government's failure to reflect its concerns about food prices and food availability in the design of specific policies.

"Further examples of the lack of due consideration to the impact of policies on productive capacity range from constraints on migration and their effect on horticulture to changes in taxation acting as a disincentive to investment."

He challenged the Government to respond to new "global dynamics" by working towards a "slimmer, smarter regulatory framework to ensure markets ran fairly".

"It needs to make sure the nation understands the value of a secure home supply of food in an increasingly volatile global situation."


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