Meurig Raymond, president of the National Farmers Union, has released his New Year message, with an emphasis on the future of farming post Brexit.
Mr Raymond, who has announced his intention to stand down from the role at the AGM in February, said: “As we look ahead to the next year, we will see an Agricultural White Paper and Agriculture Bill that will shape our industry for generations to come.
“Despite the uncertain times, I am confident that the NFU has set a clear path for farming and that working with the industry, stakeholders and governments across the UK, we can all secure a future that delivers for the country, society and thousands of family farms.”
Mr Raymond said that farming is the bedrock of the country’s food and drink sector, now worth £112 billion to the nation’s economy, providing jobs for 3.8 million people. He said future policy must enable British farmers to invest and grow so the sector can continue to play its part in a successful UK post Brexit.
He added: “With Brexit negotiations now past the initial phase, it is more important than ever that we recognise and support the work of British farmers in providing the food for our nation, maintaining our iconic farmed landscape and contributing billions of pounds to the UK’s economy.”
He said there had been some great successes in the past year with agriculture at the heart of the Industrial Strategy and the government committing to maintain the current level of agricultural funding until 2022 as well as endorsing the NFU’s vision for the future Domestic Agricultural Policy which focuses on three cornerstones - environment, productivity and volatility.
He said: It outlines that competitive, sustainable and profitable farm businesses are central to a dynamic food supply chain, as well as increasing the UK’s self sufficiency.
“The NFU will continue to work hard through 2018 to see this vision become reality.”