Rural Matters

Supermarket 'watchdog' not likely until 2012.

26th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

Following on from our blog post of 17th Jan, we can report that according to NFU National President, Peter Kendall, there is little change of seeing the appointment of a 'supermarket adjudicator' until next year.

At the annual meeting of Brecon and Radnor Mr Kendall told union members that the proposal, which could help ordinary farmers take on the might of large retails, has been 'kicked' into 2012.

“We have been calling for many years for an Ombudsman to be appointed to...

Spelman calls for agricultural revolution to feed the world.

25th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

Caroline Spelman, Defra secretary, has called for an agricultural 'revolution' to feed the global population which is expected to reach 9bn within 40 years.

She said that opening up global commodity markets would reduce price volatility and benefit the world's poorest people.  She went on to say that an integrated approach to food security was vital to reduce poverty, tackle climate change and reduce biodiversity loss.

"The UK government is determined to show the international...

NFU and FFA join forces to lobby for dairy farmers.

24th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

The NFU and FFA (Farmers For Action) have joined forces to lobby for a better future for dairy farmers.  The two parties have finally buried their differences after more than a decade of low milk prices and of many farmers continuing to lose money, despite rising market prices throughout 2010.

NFU President, Peter Kendall, and dairy board Chairman, Mansel Raymond, met with Farmers For Action Chairman, David Handley, to discuss the crisis in the industry. 

Both organisations...

Is your business fully insured?

24th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

After record snowfalls and plunging termperatures in many parts of the UK, England suffered its coldest month for almost 25 years in December.  The freezing weather brought severe logistical headaches to farmers across the county from the end of November.

NFU Mutual received 7,000 claims from farms, rural houses and businesses between the end of November and the beginning of January - a total estimated value of more than £40 million.

However, some farmers did not have adequate...

£2m organic promotion campgaign.

20th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

A £2m campaign to highlight the benefits of organic food is considered to be unfair on conventional farmers by Farmers Guardian columnist and farmer Guy Smith.

The 'Why I Love Organic' campaign,  organised by the Organic Trade Board and  part funded by EU taxpayers, invites consumers to discover what organic means by 'challenging their perceptions and discovering their own reason for loving it'.  Huw Bowles, Chairman of the Organic Trade Board, says "We know people want to eat natural...

Livestock Markets 'livestock free'? We don't think so!

18th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

Former NFU vice president, Paul Temple, is calling for livestock auctions to go 'livestock free' and a fierce debate has been sparked on the interactive Farmers Weekly website.  Mr Temple argues that it would be more efficient if buyers and sellers met but viewed finished and store animals electroncially and is quoted to have said "Ebay is proof that unseen selling works".

The majority of contributors to the Farmers Weekly forum are of the opinion that his suggestions are ludicrous,...

Localism Bill extends Community Right to Build across England

5th JanuaryPosted by Mike Taylor

The Coalition’s ground-breaking Localism Bill includes measures to extend the new Community Right to Build across England.

Initially this new right was to be restricted to rural areas but the administration has decided that communities across the country will also be able to use these powers. Read more..

NFU urges Government into action to avoid food shortage.

4th JanuaryPosted by Louise Taylor

Nation Farmers Union (NFU) President, Peter Kendall, warned in his New Year's message that the UK's food gap is set to widen further unless the Government takes action to reverse the trend.

When setting out the Union's priorities for 2011 Mr Kendall said the Government would need to lay foundations now to ensure the UK is primed to meet the future challenges of food security.

The UK's population is set to grow to more than 70 mill by 2030 and consumers are likely to become more...

Badger Trust says badger cull consultation is invalid.

22nd DecemberPosted by Louise Taylor

The Badger Trust is demanding that the Welsh Assembly Government's public consultation on its revised proposals to cull badgers as part of its bovine TB eradication programme should be declared 'invalid'.  The trust has drawn attention to a 'serious' mistake made in the 26,000 official 'awareness' leaflets delivered to homes in the West Wales target area.

A statement of information released by the Assembly Government on November 4th admitted that an 'error had occurred in the editing...

Fertiliser industry gets ready for another global food crisis.

22nd DecemberPosted by Louise Taylor

THE fertiliser industry has warned of a ‘second food crisis’ but says it is investing heavily in capacity to help address the production challenges facing farmers.

Soaring fertiliser prices in recent months have been identified by EU farm trade body Copa-Cogeca as a major threat to the ability of farmers to produce enough food to meet growing global demand. UK prices prices are expected to rise to around £310/tonne by March.

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