Peter Kendall, NFU President has published a New Year’s message on their website which is available in full here. Here are the key points:
- The NFU estimates the bad weather in 2012 cost UK farms £1.3bn which is evidence that global warming and erratic weather is having a direct impact on our food system. In response we need fresh thinking from agricultural policy makers and from players across the whole food supply chain.
- Better relationships and risk sharing in the supply chain will support farmers through volatility. In response to this, the NFU are hosting a summit to coach growers in contract negotiation skills.
- Kendall argues that the current UK government approach of calling the CAP support payments as ‘worthless’ singles the UK out from the other 26 member states and is likely to result in further discrimination against british farmers. Instead, the imbalance in CAP distribution needs to be addressed so that UK farmers will receive the same as European competitors to facilitate a level playing field.
The article calls for collaboration in building a resilient food supply chain and recognises that everyone has a part to play. Kendall ends his message perfectly so I am stealing his final line: “We need fresh thinking that builds confidence and resilience for meeting one of society’s greatest challenges; feeding a growing population in a smarter, more sustainable way.”
A great message from the NFU. I hope it can bring people together so that this time next year we can look back and say 2013 was the year we responded to tough times changed the food system for the better.