UK farm unions committed to work together on future after Brexit

Friday, 29 July, 2016

The UK farming unions say they are committed to working together in the months and years ahead to ensure farmers' interests are protected in the UK’s negotiated exit from the EU and in the development of a post-CAP farming policy.

“Agriculture is a strong, dynamic sector with huge potential.  But there are hurdles to overcome and changes needed to allow our industry to prosper. We now have a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop the right policies and the best trade deals.  Our role now, working together, is to show leadership and shape a new future for UK farming,” said UFU president Barclay Bell. 

Mr Bell added that the longstanding and close relationship between the farm unions will be even more important in dealing with the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. “We have already engaged with the NFU, NFUS and NFU Cymru on several occasions since the outcome of the referendum.  We will now come together formally next week to share our plans and vision for a thriving UK agriculture. We want to ensure our collective voice – and that of UK farmers - is heard and understood,” said Mr Bell.

Agriculture and food is the the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, worth £108 billion a year to the economy. “With this as our mandate we will continue to push to ensure food and farming priorities drive a new UK policy for agriculture.  This must reflect its potential to deliver for the economy and the environment,” said Mr Bell.  Admitting that politics change, sometimes dramatically as we have seen in recent weeks, he stressed that farming’s crucial importance to the UK does not.  “Farmers will continue to feed our nation and play a part in feeding the world.  Farmers will continue to provide quality ingredients for a thriving food industry,” he said, adding that a priority for the UK farm unions would be to secure early recognition at Westminster and in the devolved regions of these economic realities.