03 March 2015 | Online since 2003



11 June 2014|Arable,Cereal,Crops,News

UK food production ‘flat lining’ as EU over-regulation continues


Crop production in the UK will be sent into decline if British farmers continue to lose access to key materials, according to the NFU.

"The UK's crop production toolbox is becoming worryingly depleted at a time when we need to be producing more crops, not less" the union said as it launched its new report.

The campaign -‘Healthy Harvest: safeguarding the crop protection toolbox’, which is being launched at Cereals 2014 - aims to safeguard the crop protection tools that are essential to sustaining current levels of agricultural productivity. Feeding a growing global population relies on these tools, yet they are at risk of being taken away by over-precautionary regulation.

Statistics show that since 2001 half of pesticides have been lost and over the lifetime of the newly elected EU Parliament another half could be banned through what is seen as overzealous regulation not properly backed up with sound science.

NFU Vice President Guy Smith, leading on the campaign, said: “The UK is fast becoming an over-regulated environment for British farmers who are losing their home markets to foreign farmers who have better access to more effective means of crop production.

“At a time when leading scientists are warning that within a generation the world could be facing a ‘perfect storm’ of food shortages, this is not time to be taking away the tools our farmers need to produce disease free, high yielding crops.

“British farmers need to be able to use the same, safe technology as their competitors if we are to have a productive agriculture producing healthy harvests.”

The Crop Protection Association (CPA) and Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) have highlighted how important their new joint campaign with the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) will be to British farmers if they are to rise to the challenges, and opportunities, of growing global demand for food.

Nick von Westenholz, CEO of the CPA, said: “I am delighted the industry is coming together to launch this initiative. There’s no doubt that UK farmers are facing a tipping point. The tools they need to protect yields and play their part in feeding a growing global population are being relentlessly taken away from them. It’s right that products such as pesticides are regulated to ensure they’re safe for use, but we’re now subject to a system which is enormously over-precautionary, and which seems to be oblivious to the hugely important role crop protection products play in food production.

“Every second we lose an area of global farmland the size of a football field while two more people are added to the world’s population. That should be a signal to European policy-makers to foster innovation in agriculture so that our farmers can increase their productivity sustainably – but sadly it’s one that is being ignored. It is crucial that farmers, industry and UK politicians make the case to European policy-makers to ensure food and farming policy is based on sound science, fosters innovation and protects our farmers' competitiveness. Safeguarding our crop protection toolbox is absolutely central to that.”

Hazel Doonan, Head of Crop Protection and Agronomy, at the AIC said: “This campaign stems from recognising the threat that increasingly stringent regulation places on crop protection products, often without sound scientific basis for the decisions.

“Agronomists are being increasingly challenged by their clients to improve farm output whilst protecting the environment. A diminishing number of plant protection products to select from to control significant weeds, pests and diseases means increased pressure on remaining actives where chemical control measures are judged to be necessary. It would be a counterproductive situation where produce is being imported to the UK due simply to lack of an effective range of chemical control measures when we have skilled agronomists, farmers and the right climate to do this successfully for ourselves.”

The Healthy Harvest campaign will dovetail with a wider project, being undertaken by AIC to look at the cumulative effects of the various threats to UK agricultural production in both the crop production and livestock sectors.

Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


17 February 2015
Business Admin Apprentice
You can come to us for apprenticeship training in a wide range of occupations including– Agriculture, Apparel, Arboriculture,...

21 February 2015
Farm Manager
We currently have a vacancy within our East Anglia Broiler Division for a Farm Manager to cover our Barking Tye Farm, near Ip...

19 February 2015
Telesales Operator
We require an experienced Telesales Operator to join our small team based in Peterlee. The position will be temporary for a p...

2 March 2015
Sales Executive - Efficient Energy Solutions - £30K + £12K Comm
The Sales Executive will develop new business as well as manage existing accounts selling efficient energy solutions into a b...

26 February 2015
Farm Shop Supervisor
You will be tasked with managing a team and supporting with the smooth running of a farm shop. Rurally located, the farm has ...




Top stories you may have missed
2 February 2015 | Arable
Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Membership of the EU is damaging the British farming industry, according to...


29 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

BASIS has launched an accreditation for pilots of Unmanned Aerial Systems (...


23 January 2015 | Arable
UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have theoretical potential to more than double over the nex...


23 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Britain’s farmers flocked to Peterborough for the first day of LAMMA’15 to ...


22 January 2015 | Cattle
Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

The crisis in the dairy industry is not the fault of supermarkets, accordin...


16 January 2015 | CLA
Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer visited three rural businesses in Cheshi...


16 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

Spearheading the John Deere range of mid-size tractors from Mannheim, the n...


14 January 2015 | Animal Health
Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Regular testing for bovine TB could significantly reduce the number of infe...


12 January 2015 | News
Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Single-issue policy-making threatens to hamper, not help, the progress of U...


8 January 2015 | Cattle
2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2014 has been a “rocky old year” for the beef industry but better prices ar...