Farmers have given a mixed reaction to news that the NFU is planning a rally in support of UK agriculture over the coming months.
The union is working with NFU Scotland, NFU Cymru and the Ulster Farmers’ Union to co-ordinate rallies in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast at some point over the next three months.
NFU president Minette Batters said: “British farming is at a critical juncture and, in the coming months, it could be more important than ever to make our voice heard and demonstrate the importance of a thriving domestic food production system to politicians and the public.
“We know we have massive support from British people when it comes to British farming’s high standards, traceability and safety.
“We are currently developing plans with the other UK farming unions for a rally to encourage support for our high standards of food production and the importance of fairness for British food producers.
“With the country in the middle of a General Election, we are waiting until a new Government forms before announcing anything further.”
Many farmers have welcomed the news, and an unofficial support group, National Farmers Tractor Rally London 2020, has even been set up on Facebook to share information about the event.
One farmer posting on the social media site said the Government would only sit up and take notice of agriculture if Extinction Rebellion were made to ‘look like amateurs’.
But others commenting warned the rally is due to take place during lambing time, leaving many sheep farmers unable to attend.
“It is a shame all the cities listed are too far away to make it to after morning milking and before afternoon milking,” another farmer posted.
“If there had been one in Leeds, my little 820 might have just about managed it.”
Concerns were also raised about how farmers’ environmental credentials could be undermined by filling cities with tractors emitting greenhouse gases, while others feared the public would be alienated if they were inconvenienced in any way.