NFU and TFA working together for the tenanted sector's future

UK - The tenanted sector is facing a decisive time and it is vital the NFU and the Tenant Farmers’ Association work together to help farmers plan for the future, NFU deputy president Meurig Raymond said today.
calendar icon 1 November 2006
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Mr Raymond was speaking after the NFU and TFA held a high level meeting to discuss areas of mutual concern to both organisations in relation to the tenanted sector.

The meeting, at the NFU’s London offices on Monday, covered ongoing problems with the Single Payment Scheme, the recent Agricultural Tenancies Regulatory Reform Order which became law on October 19, rent reviews, the CAP health check, the future of the Hill Farm Allowance scheme, and county farms, including the current review of county farms in Gloucestershire.

Mr Raymond said: “Now is a decisive time for the tenanted sector. There are many threats at present to traditional tenants and it is important that our two organisations are in a position to advise our respective members of the best course of action.

“There are opportunities too and tenants need to have a vision to secure their future when the agricultural scene is undergoing such change. I hope the Single Payment Scheme problems will soon be consigned to the history books and that we can look to the future with optimism.

“We must ensure that tenants are able to take the opportunities that tenancy law reform provides to continue to build on the success of the tenanted sector during these difficult times.

“In the meantime in the upland areas there are grave concerns for the future of the Hill Farm Allowance. The NFU and the TFA are in agreement on the need to ensure that the right outcome (option one) is secured for those farmers and that any change to the system is left until after 2009.”

TFA national chairman Reg Haydon said: “It is vitally important that the TFA and NFU work together. There are many areas of common ground where we need to be lobbying together to secure a solid future for farm tenants across England and Wales.

“The TFA has worked closely with the NFU in trying to clear up Defra’s Single Payment Scheme mess and we have achieved significant victories. As we face the CAP health check it is important that we carefully assess what is best for the tenanted sector and lobby accordingly.

“On county farms we are of one view. Now we need to get that message across to the decision makers within county farms that they should be retaining their estates to continue to provide an important entry mechanism to our industry.

“The challenges for tenants and the tenanted sector are considerable and it is critical that we ensure that the tenant farmers’ voice is heard in the ongoing debates over future policy.”

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