New CLA President
"Farmers, rural businesses and landowners face real challenges in their role to maintain a sustainable and profitable countryside," said Henry Aubrey-Fletcher speaking today (1 November 2007) as he was elected President of the CLA, the rural economy experts.
"We must persuade government that the ability to grow food profitably is vital if we are going to feed people, and that food security in the long term is crucial.
"The prospect of future global food shortages is a reality as climate change threatens to shrink temperate zones where food can be grown. Energy crops compete for space, and as the pressure for controls on land use increase: Land must always be looked after so that when the global food shortage hits, we are ready.
"Inevitably this raises the issues of CAP reform and Single Farm Payments. The CLA has for many years argued for the removal of direct subsidies because they were trade-distorting and didn't help agriculture. If farmers rely totally on the market and cease to receive money for looking after the countryside and prices decline, then there must be a buffer to ensure farming can continue," concluded Henry Aubrey-Fletcher.
Henry has spent over 30 years working in broadcasting both for the BBC and in independent radio. He represented the CLA on the National Trust council completing terms of office first as chairman of the Properties Committee and then as deputy chairman of the Trust's Council. Henry succeeds David Fursdon as CLA President.
William Worsley takes up the post of CLA deputy president. William is Chairman of the CLA Board, lives in North Yorkshire and runs a family business involving farming and forestry and residential and commercial property. William is Chairman of the Scarborough Building Society.
Harry Cotterell was appointed vice president. Harry owns and manages a traditional rural estate in Herefordshire, where the main enterprises are cider fruit, mushrooms, chickens and arable. He has been involved with the CLA for over 10 years and served as chairman of the Herefordshire branch committee.
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