Organisations representing the whole of the food chain, from farmers to retailers have joined together to produce the UK Food Chain Manifesto. The document is an appeal to the Government for positive outcomes on trade, labour, regulation and domestic agricultural policy, post Brexit.
Latest figures show that exports of British food and drink rose by 5.5% to £5.2bn in the first quarter of 2018. The growth in exports to EU markets was strong at 8.2%.
Leading farming organisations have called on the Government to sort out the problems with countryside stewardship schemes. Poor administration and payment delays of up to nine months are putting participation in the schemes at risk. As old schemes come to an end, farmers are finding it difficult to sign up for new ones putting many years of conservation at risk.
The EU has announced more details of the CAP budget for 2021 – 2027. The budget is forecast to be €365bn with priority for small and medium sized farms. Direct payments over €60,000 will be reduced and capped at €100,000. Member states will be required to allocate 30% of funds to climate and environment measures.
A committee of MPs has issued a report of the impact on the UK of leaving the EU. It calls for farm funding to be ring-fenced with more detail on how the mechanism will work. The committee wants to see environmental and welfare standards maintained on all imports and a farm productivity plan produced by May 2019. The report is generally welcomed by farm leaders.
The milk processors Muller, Meadow Foods and Dairy Crest have all announced increases in the price they pay to their producers from July. The increases take the price to around 28p per litre with the processors citing a strengthening in dairy markets as the reason.
NFU Mutual has again highlighted the theft risk associated with Land Rover Defenders and other luxury 4x4 vehicles. Production of Defenders ceased in 2016 and they are increasingly targeted to be stripped for parts with claims costs rising by 14%. Expensive Range Rovers have been recovered from containers at docks and as far afield as Africa and the Far East.
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