Saturday 29 September 2012
40 years of farm handouts
The NFU, NFU Cymru, NFU Scotland and the Ulster Farmers’ Union will this week celebrate 40 years since they opened their joint office in Brussels to speak up for British farmers in Europe.
The UK farming unions moved into their office in 1972, a year ahead of the UK’s official entry into the European Economic Community in 1973, to influence regulations that would impact on UK farmers.
Maeve Whyte, current director of the UK NFUs’ office in Brussels, said: “I am proud to say that over the past four decades this office has developed a reputation as one of the most astute and well-connected of all farm lobby groups in Brussels.
“Since 1972, when we established our office here, the rules and regulations on agriculture and the environment have come hard and fast. From the type of fuel you put into your tractor, to the size of your single farm payment. From how to tag your livestock, to which pesticides you can spray on your crop. Given this monumental impact on British agriculture it is essential that the UK farming unions are working in Brussels to shape legislation from its inception.
“You don’t need to look any further than the current reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, which is worth almost £4billion to UK farmers, to see why it is important that we continue to engage in Europe.
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