UFU president David Brown, Michelle O’Neill MLA, Sinn Féin vice president and UFU parliamentary officer Alexander Kinnear.
Parliamentary update by Alexander Kinnear
Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) president David Brown and parliamentary officer Alexander Kinnear recently attended the DUP conference on 13-14 October in Belfast, and the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis which was held on 10-11 November in Athlone, County Westmeath.
The UFU engaged with party leaders, MPs, MLAs, councillors and party members, explaining the importance of the agri-food industry to Northern Ireland’s (NI) economy. UFU representatives listened to what the two political parties had to say on their policies in relation to agriculture, environment and rural affairs.
The UFU highlighted various topics and in particular, explained the level of frustration within the farming community over the inability of devolved government to tackle the issue of TB and stressed that wildlife intervention was the only option available. Politicians were made aware that the impact of TB continues to decimate rural communities and agricultural businesses across NI.
Other issues were discussed including climate change concerns and the impact that net zero legislation will have on family farms, planning issues, commodity prices, future support, issues that the Windsor Framework has not resolved and that the agri-food industry as a whole is best served when devolved government is in place.