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The thought of seeing Trump in the UK pitching his farming wares fills me with dread

The President of the US is to visit the UK in June, and the thought of him pitching up with with hormone-treated beef under one arm and chlorinated chicken under the other fills me with dread, says NFU Cymru president John Davies.

So next month the UK will ‘welcome’ the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, to these shores.

 

While not universally popular, the primary reason for the state visit appears to be to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-day.

 

Our Prime Minister Theresa May has, however, said the visit also provides ‘an opportunity to strengthen our already close relationship in areas such as trade, investment, security and defence, and to discuss how we can build on those ties in the years ahead.’

 

The thought of POTUS flying in to discuss trade opportunities is something that, as a Welsh farmer, sends a shiver down my spine.

 

It conjures images of Mr Trump stepping off a private plane onto British soil, adorned in a star spangled banner suit, with hormone-treated beef under one arm and chlorinated chicken under the other, ready to pitch his wares.

 

Dread

 

I’m sure I’m not the only person in the food and farming industry who is filled with dread at the thought.

 

Some will question why I should worry about such things.

 

After all, Secretary of State for International Trade Dr Liam Fox tweeted to say he ‘could not be any clearer’ that Government would not lower food standards in a future free trade agreement with the United States, a sentiment echoed by Defra Secretary Michael Gove to 1,500 farmers at the NFU Conference in Birmingham back in February.

 

Indeed, I attended a talk at Hay Festival last year where Mr Gove said imports of chlorinated chicken or hormone-produced beef would occur ‘over his dead body’.

 

But while we remain in this seemingly never-ending Brexit Groundhog Day scenario, I am still concerned Welsh and British farming could be the eleventh hour victim to a trade deal which satisfies the political agenda of someone in Government eager to make a success of a future outside the European Union.

 

Devastate

 

Such a decision would completely undermine and devastate our hardworking industry.

 

We’ve heard numerous promises made on various platforms over the last few years, but talk is cheap.

 

What all of us associated with Welsh and British farming want to see is a practical, functional Agriculture Bill which doesn’t sell British farming down the river; protects us against foreign imports and allows our industry to grow and prosper.

 

Here in the UK we are producing safe, high-quality, fully traceable food to some of the highest standards anywhere in the world.

 

Can we do better?

 

Leaders

 

Yes, of course we can, and as the leaders in this field we will always strive to improve and innovate.

 

But I firmly believe the green, grass-based story we have here in the UK is something we can all be immensely proud of.

 

It would be deeply disappointing to see this undermined by imports from the United States, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, that are produced to completely different standards to what consumers here have come to expect from the high-quality food and drink produced by UK farmers.

 

John can be found tweeting at @Johnpentre


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