NFU urges growers to use European vote

The NFU is urging growers to make their vote count during June's European elections, following its launch last week of a "policy wish list" that includes a manifesto calling for "sound science" and practical policies from Eurocrats.

World Class Policies for World Class Farming calls for the European Parliament to recognise the industry's social contribution beyond the common agricultural policy (CAP).

The British Agricultural Bureau, representing the NFU in England, Wales, Scotland and Ulster, wants a supply-chain code of practice and more R&D.

"The report puts productive agriculture, the environment and the need for greater research funding at the heart of the EU agenda," said NFU president Peter Kendall.

"It highlights the issues crucial to winning the farming vote at European elections on 4 June," he said of the manifesto launched at the European Parliament.

"MEPs will be making decisions that impact directly on our businesses. Their views will shape farming policy on everything from animal health to the future of CAP."

NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond told Grower: "We need better regulation that is science-based and with full impact assessments on environmental and economic implications.

"Some rulings in recent months, such as on pesticides, have added costs to the industry and shown little value. There are over 600 MEPs and we have to get our message across. Once we influence them, they can influence colleagues."

Last week, Raymond told BBC Radio 4's Farming Today show: "European elections are every five years and it's up to members to vote. It's our opportunity as an industry to make our vote count because the MEPs will be in a fairly influential position over the next five years."

Raymond added that he wanted to improve the farming knowledge of MEPs - particularly to educate them in terms of how important horticultural crops and agriculture were to the UK.

"The future of CAP will be so important. The big debate over the next 18 months will be the European budget," he said.

"There will be core decision powers in the parliament and MEPs will have a big say. This issue is key to UK farming."

Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith, Scotland's only full member of the European Parliament's agriculture committee, pledged to support the manifesto.

"If anything, the NFU is being a bit restrained and can expect more from Scotland's reps in Europe than the warm words and vague promises this document invites."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

What challenges and opportunities lie in store for tomato growers?

What challenges and opportunities lie in store for tomato growers?

The British Tomato Growers Association (TGA) conference today (21 September) heard a range of perspectives on what changes lie in store for the sector and how to anticipate them.

Buoyant demand for UK apples but frost and labour remain concerns

Buoyant demand for UK apples but frost and labour remain concerns

As the British apple season begins, English Apples & Pears (EAP) is warning that growers will feel the effects of both a late frost in spring and also constrained labour supply.

Tomorrow's tractors

Tomorrow's tractors

These machines have advanced rapidly over recent years but what does the future hold? Sally Drury looks ahead.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Professor Geoffrey Dixon

GreenGene International chair Geoff Dixon on the business of fresh produce production
 

Read Professor Geoffrey Dixon