NFU joins European conference over future of sheep sector
Alistair Mackintosh took part in the conference in Limoges, France, which was organised by the French Farm Minister and current president of the EU Agriculture council, Michael Barnier, and followed a European Parliament report written by Irish MEP Liam Aylward which called for urgent action to be taken at an EU level to safeguard the future of the sheep and goat sectors.
Mr Mackintosh said: "We all recognise the damage that this continuing decline in both production and profit will do - not just to the long term viability of our industry, but also to the social fabric of rural communities and the preservation and enhancement of the landscape and environment in some of the most fragile and remote regions of Europe.
"Our primary aim must be to address the market issues and declining consumption throughout the EU. We must be innovative in how we market our lamb and continually look to add value through new product lines and, most important of all, secure a fair share of the retail price of lamb.
"While different countries may have differing views and priorities on how we reverse this downward trend the conference was a good opportunity to share views and ideas and begin the process of securing a long term sustainable future for the EU sheep industry."
Mr Mackintosh said there had been a firm view among the farmer representatives, and many of the political representatives, at the conference that sheep EID and individual movement recording should be a voluntary measure from January 1 2010 rather than compulsory.
He said: "Here we see technology and regulation driving our industry, taking no notice of market forces or disease control issues. We currently have a system based on individual identification, batch recording, and movement standstills which delivers a simple, efficient, and cost effective control of animal disease.
"EID and individual movement recording will only accelerate the decline in production and profitability of our sector and further damage our competitiveness on world markets".
No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment
Please enter your name
Please enter your comment
Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.
Some error on your process.Please try one more time.
Butchers in the UK are losing a generation through lack of training opportu...
NASA research has revealed how dust blown from the Sahara desert helps supp...
“In the run up to the Budget 2015 most commentators were predicting that th...
The UK’s first fully operational floating solar panel system has been unvei...
Axing the badger cull in England and Wales will save more than £120 million...
By 2025, solar power could become one of the cheapest forms of energy in ma...
Demand for Scottish farm land remains strong and continues to be better val...
The Welsh red meat industry should aim to increase sales by at least 34 per...
Fears about the impact that a proposed transatlantic trade agreement could ...