A message from the UK Farming Union Presidents:
UK farming is looking to the future. Agriculture in the UK provides high quality products as part of a safe, traceable food supply chain worth £122 billion a year and employing 4 million people. Our industry and members support vibrant rural communities throughout the UK and remain at the heart of rural life. Through investment and innovation we can improve food resilience and play a leading part in a sustainable food revolution around the world.
Whilst the UK has left the European Union, it has never been more important for farmers across Europe to work together as we collectively face challenges on a global scale. The UK farming unions prioritised remaining part of the Copa-Cogeca family to share experience and knowledge. Whilst the approaches taken by our policy makers may differ, the ambitions and needs of farmers remain aligned and we continue to support and learn from one another.
Changes in agricultural support and the increased exposure of our markets to volatility are issues we have been discussing for years. In the UK we are now confronting the reality of how farmers adjust to moving away from direct support payments whilst attempting to meet the global challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss. In this conversation the importance of food safety and food security must not be lost. As farmers we face the enormous challenge of feeding a population which will approach 10 billion by 2050. In Europe we have the climate and natural resources to produce fresh, affordable and sustainable food. Agriculture must be recognised and valued as a sector that is part of the solution, one which can make a positive contribution to reducing emissions whilst continuing to feed the world.
Over a million people supported the ‘Back British Farming’ Food Standards petition calling on the government to safeguard the UK's high standards of food production in future trade deals. The message is clear - consumers are backing farmers to continue producing food to leading standards, even in the toughest global circumstances. Agriculture must play its part in meeting the sustainability challenges, but it is vital to have policies that recognise the importance of efficient and productive agriculture and that work with farmers to utilise their unique skillsets to deliver on the expectations of society.
World leading food production must continue to be at the heart of everything we do. We have a huge amount of work ahead of us, and the nature of that work is evolving. UK farmers are committed to working together, at both a national and international level, to embrace and follow the latest science and innovation, seek new trading opportunities and maintain our high standards. Through our BAB office, we are committed to supporting British farmers to do this; building our new relationship with Europe.
BAB also represents the National Pig Association in Europe. The National Pig Association is the representative trade association for British commercial pig producers and is allied to the NFU and represents the pig interests of NFU members.