NFU Wants Government To Recognise Dairy Responsibilities

Farming UK - The way that CAP has been applied in England, which has put us massively out of line with our competitors, together with the threat of disproportionate regulations could be the last straws for many dairy farmers in parts of England, NFU President Peter Kendall said yesterday.
calendar icon 6 June 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

Mr Kendall told the 'Dairy Farming and the Environment – What Lies Ahead' conference that Government must recognise its responsibilities to agriculture and deliver sensible regulation as well as designing policies that provide incentives to encourage farmers to rise to the environmental challenges they face.

He said: "Our work in developing this plan shows to Government the whole dairy industry is taking its responsibilities to look after the environment seriously. Today's conference is all about how we and various bodies who advise dairy farmers can help producers take on the challenges that lie ahead and reduce their environmental footprint.

"Responsibility is a two-way process and there needs to be a quid pro quo from Government. In return for our efforts in delivering change on farm, ministers must recognise their responsibilities to agriculture and the environment by setting a sensible regulatory framework that does not penalise those who are doing the right thing or blow our competitiveness out of the water.

"Dairy farmers in England are already at an immediate disadvantage to dairy farmers elsewhere in the UK and many other parts of the EU due to the way the SPS has been implemented here. On top of that, we face a modulation rate of 19 per cent in 2009 compared to 15 per cent in Northern Ireland, 14 per cent in Scotland and five per cent in the Netherlands.

"Ministers continue to say that higher modulation puts us in a better place than other countries. But dairy farmers in England are effectively being treated like guinea pigs in some vast experiment to see how far you can squeeze milk producers between ever higher environmental standards on the one hand, and ever lower levels of resources on the other. This has gone far enough. Any further, and it will be a test to destruction.

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