NFU president, Peter Kendall, has warned the Government not to ignore the increasing importance of food production when considering reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and has called for policies which encourage more productive and competitive food production by farmers.
At a Conservative Party conference fringe meeting attended by all three Defra ministers, Mr Kendall wanted against a wholesale switch towards environmental support. "There have been comments made by all sorts of political parties about the need to move towards spending money on preserving the environment," he said. "We want a CAP that helps us to be more productive and competitive at the same time as looking after the environment."
Defra secretary, Caroling Spelman, said it was early days in CAP reform negotiations. "With CAP reform coming up, we're going to be fighting our corner to get a good deal for farmers, consumers, taxpayers and the environment," she said.