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01st November, 2017

The encouragement and improvement of agriculture has been at the centre of The Society’s activities since its foundation in 1777 and that mission is as true today as it was 240 years ago. Our continuing drive to support British agriculture aligns wonderfully with the NFU’s Backing British Agriculture campaign and we are delighted to be a part of it.

Around 60 businesses from across the South West’s agricultural supply chain with a combined turnover of more than £500 million and employing more than 6,000 people between them came together to back British farming at a summit meeting at Sedgemoor livestock market organised by the NFU earlier this year

Machinery suppliers, feed merchants, retailers, farm accountants, agricultural colleges, banks and many others who benefit from a strong and profitable food and farming sector came together to lend their support to the NFU’s lobbying work on behalf of the industry.

The meeting was chaired by Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton and chairman of the Efra select committee, who said it was vital the agricultural and food sector spoke with one voice to make sure it was ‘fit for the new world’ that Brexit would bring.

It’s likely that an agriculture bill would be put before parliament during the summer of 2018 and that although the industry might have to face being “weaned off” direct subsidy support, this transition process could take up to ten years.

This is why it’s so important that businesses come together to help formulate a positive vision of the future which can be presented to policymakers, reminding them food and farming must be at the centre of all that they do.

Striking trade deals is an essential part of making Brexit a success, businesses would be unable to survive without migrant labour and so should be “adopting a global export mind-set”. If we don’t manage change it’s going to be a question of survival of the fittest, but there are lots of factors that will influence who survives.

All businesses should get in contact with their MPs and let them know how much rests on getting a good Brexit deal for agriculture.

 

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