UFU outlines its priorities to AERA committee

Friday, 9 September, 2016

The Ulster Farmers’ Union met the Assembly's Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (AERA) committee this week (Thursday 8 September) to put forward its strategic plan for the industry.  Topping the agenda was the financial pressure farmers are under and market volatility.  The UFU delegation was made up of its president, Barclay Bell, deputy presidents, Ivor Ferguson, Victor Chestnutt and the UFU chief executive, Wesley Aston.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Bell said there was no escape from the reality that the number one issue for the UFU is the financial pressure facing the farming sector, across all commodities.  “We used this meeting to cover the actions we believe could help address this income crisis,” said the UFU president.  “We also stressed the need for the industry to work to tackle the issue of volatility in the future.  It is inevitable it will return and we need to learn how to deal with it,” said Mr Bell.

Also discussed was the distribution of the latest EU agricultural aid package, Brexit, access to finance, securing greater fairness along the food supply chain, driving the Going for Growth strategy, easing the path of young people into the agriculture, opening new markets and ensuring the direct CAP payments farmers rely on reach them as quickly as possible.