Andrew WattsNFU combinable crops board chairman Andrew Watts has vowed to end severe seed shortages in Europe after being elected as chairman of an influential committee in Brussels.
Demand for spring seeds has seen a 30% surge with recent poor weather reducing available land to be sown.
"This is a crucial time for arable farmers" said Watts.
"The last ten months of poor weather have been well documented and the impact on the 2012 harvest in England and Wales has been evident to all. Across Europe farmers are facing severe spring seed shortages.
"It is clear that we need a more flexible European legislative framework to account for modern farming practice, especially contract farming, and I look forward to working with the Commission to present our case."
Watts was elected Chair of the Seeds Advisory Committee to DGAgri and will be in post for the first review of all European seed legislation in 40 years.
"I am delighted to be elected chairman of the committee.
"My task now is to make sure that the voice of the farmer is heard during European Commission meetings on a range of issues."
Apart from seed availability he said he would also use the high-level role to convince EU policy makers to improve existing seed regulations and ensure that high profile topics such as a potential ban on neonicotinoids were not subject to precautionary legislative decisions and instead continued to be based on science.
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