An ‘options paper’ detailing the NFU’s ambitious vision for British agriculture post-Brexit has been agreed by its national Policy Board today. This means the organisation can now embark on its biggest ever consultation with its 47,000 farmer and grower members.
The paper covering crucial areas such as trade, access to labour, financial support and regulation was discussed by the Policy Board members – farmers and growers from around the country. The next steps will see regional meetings starting next week with the full consultation meetings led by NFU Officeholders starting on August 22 where they will host 49 regional meetings.
The briefing paper will be available on NFUonline for NFU members and a shorter options paper will be published for feedback at the full consultation meetings.
The NFU Officeholder team, NFU President Meurig Raymond, Deputy President Minette Batters and Vice President Guy Smith, believes this consultation presents an historic opportunity to shape farming policy.
The meetings will give NFU members a unique opportunity to discuss the implications of the Brexit vote and the options that could form part of a vigorous new agricultural policy. The NFU will then enter into detailed talks with other organisations later this autumn.
NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “Our member consultation will be the foundation of our high level vision for domestic agriculture. This helps us engage with the Government and shape a domestic farm policy; one which will lead to a profitable, productive and sustainable future for our industry.
“Over the coming weeks we will be consulting with our members, in every sector and in every county, getting their considered thoughts on our options paper in order to feed in to a final report.
“This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for farmers to be part of deciding the future of British farming. We need as many members as possible to be involved.
“The views of NFU members will be collated and fed back as a final report is prepared. This will go back to NFU Policy Board on September 29, before final agreement by NFU Council in October.
“There is a clear need for agriculture and horticulture to show unity. When our consultation with our members is complete we will then be in a position to work alongside other organisations with shared goals and vision to ensure that British agriculture has a profitable and productive future outside of the EU and that the industry capitalises on those new opportunities.”