The NFU is today launching its options paper giving members the chance to say what they need from agricultural policy post-Brexit.
It begins the NFU’s largest consultation in a generation, with around 50 meetings nationwide, for members, office holders and policy advisers.
The consultation ends on September 14, when the NFU holds Back British Farming Day to promote dynamic British food and farming to MPs.
NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “The vote to leave the EU means food security must drive a new, bold ambition for UK farmers and growers. This is a historic opportunity, which as NFU office holders working on our members’ behalves, we’re determined to seize.
“We’re already seeing farmers joining the NFU to participate in the biggest consultation we’ve ever held on the industry’s future. We’re expecting thousands of NFU members to grasp the opportunity.
“The British public has made it clear in survey after survey that they’re hugely supportive and fully aware of the contribution we make to the economy and the environment. On top of this, they’d like to see more British food produced at home.
“Our vision is for a future policy which enables farming’s contribution to Britain grow. Where our farmers are able to compete with the rest of the world and are able to access the latest technologies to allow us to be ever more resilient, competitive and profitable. Where public goods farmers provide include not just the environment but also renewable energy, education, health and nutrition.”
He said leaving the EU and creating an agricultural policy would take years, not months. “That’s why the NFU has taken the opportunity to carry out this robust consultation,” he said. “We want to ensure that when we present our vision for a new policy we can clearly demonstrate that this is what farmers and growers from all sectors and in all areas want and need.
“Brexit is about building bridges, building the industry’s influence. The NFU’s aim, once our members have spoken, is to provide a strong and united voice for the food and farming industry, to ensure that agriculture is seen as strategically and politically important in all future trade negotiations.”
NFU members can read the options paper at www.nfuonline.com/brexitoptions/