Unless the NFU makes plant protection its number one regulatory priority after Brexit, the future for the UK’s productive agriculture is bleak.
That is the view of the union’s horticulture board chairman, Ali Capper, who used an NFU council meeting this week to say a ‘lift and shift’ of EU law in this area was not good enough.
She said: “There is no holistic view being taken by UK regulators, no-one is considering alternatives and there is no resistance strategy. I would say all of this is the responsibility of the UK Government.
“This is one area we really do need to fight. An improved regulatory framework does not mean trade with the EU will be compromised.
“We have the opportunity to lobby for change and we need to be robust in making this case for change. We cannot accept a no change or a minimal change position, as we will be putting the future of my sector in jeopardy.”
Ms Capper said AHDB figures show Germany had access to many more plant protection products than the UK.
For apples, the Germans had 130, in comparison to the UK’s 81. For blueberries, the Germans had 107, compared to eight in the UK.
“I am finding it hard to find where we are on a level playing field,” Ms Capper added.