NFU shares vi­sion with shadow De­fra sec­re­tary

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Advertiser Farming -

THE im­por­tance of a new agri­cul­tural pol­icy that al­lows farm­ers to be com­pet­i­tive, prof­itable and pro­gres­sive was dis­cussed when Meurig Raymond met the new shadow De­fra sec­re­tary, Sue Hay­man, last week.

The NFU pres­i­dent said: “Ms Hay­man has only been in post for just a month, so we were keen to meet with her to ex­plain some of the most press­ing is­sues fac­ing our mem­bers.

“Our meet­ing fo­cused on the NFU’s work and our calls on the gov­ern­ment to pre­pare for Brexit, the de­vel­op­ment of a new do­mes­tic agri­cul­tural pol­icy and the de­tails of our newly-launched Flood­ing Man­i­festo.

“I was able to stress the im­por­tance of the NFU and the farm­ing in­dus­try work­ing closely with De­fra to achieve the best pos­si­ble ac­cess to mar­kets in Europe, and how im­por­tant it is that we help to shape a new do­mes­tic agri­cul­tural pol­icy which is adapted to the needs of our farm­ers and food pro­duc­tion which de­liv­ers public goods.

“With her re­spon­si­bil­ity for agri­cul­tural pol­icy, it is vi­tal that Ms Hay­man not only ap­pre­ci­ates but fully un­der­stands the con­se­quences of a fair deal and out­come for Bri­tish farm­ers post-Brexit, so we are work­ing with politi­cians of all par­ties to en­sure that this hap­pens.

“We thanked her for her sup­port dur­ing the se­ri­ous flood­ing in her con­stituency in Cum­bria, and talked about how we can work with the op­po­si­tion to get gov­ern­ment ac­tion around the key asks in our flood­ing man­i­festo.

“Some of our most pro­duc­tive and high­est value agri­cul­tural land lies in flood­plains or coastal re­gions, vul­ner­a­ble to flood­ing, and de­serves to be pro­tected. So we are press­ing the gov­ern­ment and its agen­cies to de­velop long-term strate­gic plans to mit­i­gate fu­ture flood risk.

“This meet­ing is part of an on­go­ing strat­egy of min­is­ter brief­ings, which builds on the re­la­tion­ships the NFU has with MPs and keeps farm­ing at the top of the po­lit­i­cal and pol­i­cy­maker’s agenda.

“We con­cluded our dis­cus­sion with Ms Hay­man with an of­fer to set up a visit to an arable farm for her and the shadow team, so they can see first­hand the prob­lems our mem­bers face day in day out.”

Work­ing­ton MP Ms Hay­man was ap­pointed the new shadow De­fra sec­re­tary in Fe­bru­ary. She has also held the posts of shadow min­is­ter (en­vi­ron­ment, food and ru­ral affairs) and op­po­si­tion whip in her 12 years as an MP.

She is also a Cum­brian county coun­cil­lor and com­mu­nity re­la­tions con­sul­tant.

Sue Hay­man of­fered farm­ers sup­port dur­ing the floods which hit her con­stituency, far left, and wider Cum­bria, left

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