NFU President Peter Kendall responds to Farming Life article

Tuesday, 18 June, 2013

Letter to the Farming Life Editor

Dear sirs,

With reference to the article “Could NI be the big budget loser?” published 15th June 2013, I wish to clarify my position. At no time have I suggested that Northern Irish farmers’ payments should be clawed back and redistributed in favour of Scottish farmers. The NFU in England along with the Ulster Farmers Union and NFU Cymru are working together to counter the SNP demands to increase the Scottish CAP payments envelope. As farming organisations representing the interests of active farmers,  we believe that the purpose of the direct payments is to maintain agricultural capacity and underpin farm business resilience, not to be spread thinly across millions and millions of hectares of unproductive land. We are therefore arguing that the  UK’s direct support payment distribution envelopes should remain as they are, broadly reflective of the agricultural capability of the area to which it is allocated.  I do however suspect that this suggestion of redistribution of UK CAP funding has its origins in the high politics of the Scottish Independence Referendum. Our job as farming unions is to ensure that decisions are made on objective not opportunistic grounds and that farmers across the rest of the UK are not left at a disadvantage. 

Peter Kendall

President

NFU England & Wales