CLA responds following George Freeman MP’s comments on future of farm payments

04 October 2016

Speaking at the Conservative Party Conference, George Freeman MP is reported to have said it is likely the public would want to see more money diverted from British agriculture to the NHS.

He said: “There is quite a big piece of work to be done to explain to the public properly why the British agricultural industry is a key strategic sector for the UK – which I don’t think has been explained well.”

CLA President Ross Murray said: “George Freeman MP is right to acknowledge that there is much work to be done to generate a wider understanding of the importance of support for farm businesses.

“Our industry is certainly at a crossroads. Government and farmers must work together to create a domestic policy that is more efficient, better tailored to UK needs, provides better bang for the taxpayer’s buck, and delivers better outcomes for the environment.

“We must also work together to show why establishing this fully-funded policy is so important for anyone who wants to eat high quality, affordable UK food, spend time in the countryside or cares that the environment is well managed for today and for future generations.

“As a nation we must now grasp the opportunity to establish a new domestic Food, Farming and Environmental policy that works better for everyone than the Common Agricultural Policy. This is the message that we will continue to take far and wide, and we look to Government for their support in this.”