Region’s top agri-businesses back British farming

By Crediton Courier Newspaper   |   Editorial   |
Thursday 26th October 2017 5:41 am
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Delegates showing their support for British farming at Sedgemoor livestock centre. Pictured left and right of the banner are Melanie Squires, South West NFU regional director and Neil Parish MP, Efra select committee chairman. ()

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AROUND 60 businesses from across the South West’s agricultural supply chain with a combined turnover of more than £500 million and employing more than 6,000 people between them came together to back British farming at a summit meeting at Sedgemoor livestock market organised by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

Machinery suppliers, feed merchants, retailers, farm accountants, agricultural colleges, banks and many others who benefit from a strong and profitable food and farming sector came together to lend their support to the NFU’s lobbying work on behalf of the industry.

The meeting was chaired by Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton and chairman of the Efra (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) select committee, who said it was vital the agricultural and food sector spoke with one voice to make sure it was “fit for the new world” that Brexit would bring.

“It is important that we come together like this to help us formulate a positive vision of the future which we can present to policymakers, to remind them food and farming must be at the centre of all we do,” he said.

Mr Parish added that it was likely an agriculture bill would be put before parliament during the summer of 2018 and that although the industry might have to face being “weaned off” direct subsidy support, he believed this transition process could take up to 10 years.

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