NFU says the policies of the next government could mean make or break for UK agriculture

NFU President Tom Bradshaw

NFU President Tom Bradshaw

Image: NFU

The next general election may be the most important in a generation for British food and farming.

So said NFU President Tom Bradshaw responding to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement on Wednesday (22 May) that the next election will be held on 4 July.

Bradshaw said the stakes for the UK agriculture sector are very high. “If the next government gets it right, then this huge sector can grow, contributing even more to the UK economy, to the health and welfare of Britons and to the environment,” he said in a statement.

But farming and growing is under huge pressure, the president of the English farmers’ union continued. “Confidence is the currency that forms the foundation of feeding the country, and it is currently at rock bottom.”

After months of flooding, high production costs and low market returns – and against a backdrop of reformed farm support as the sector transitions to a new domestic agriculture policy – farmers and growers need policies in place that will rebuild confidence, he said. 

Bradshaw said the NFU would be engaging with candidates from all political parties over the coming weeks to promote its election manifesto. The union will be advocating for a ”thriving, profitable farming sector delivering for food security”, he said.

The NFU President said the union would ensure every prospective MP understands the importance of boosting home-grown food production, as well as the work farmers and growers carry out 365 days a year caring for the environment, providing a home for nature and providing solutions to the challenges of climate change.

”What farmers, growers and the public need to see is practical policies which invest in a future where Britain’s farmers and growers can continue producing sustainable, affordable food, driving forward economic growth, providing jobs, and delivering on the nation’s environmental ambitions,” Bradshaw concluded.