UK farmers need to get competitive – and quickly

Following years of EU protection the UK farming industry is in need of pump-priming to modernise.

Andrew Osmond is a member of the Commercial Farmers Group
Andrew Osmond is a member of the Commercial Farmers Group

We really need to concentrate now on how we compete. We can’t do it on our own, as money isn’t there, and we have all become used to a protectionist system for almost 50 years. The current funding proposals simply cover some of what’s being lost.

With complaints about lack of equivalence going nowhere, the industry needs proper and new investment to ensure farmers operating all shapes and sizes of system can adapt quickly to new market conditions.

We also need to radically increase domestic farmer-owned processing capacity, vertical integration, and access to professional support on export opportunities.

And according to County Londonderry arable and beef farmer Robert Moore, a CFG colleague, Britain has always been a trading nation and won’t stop, so the sooner UK farmers face this and learn to manage it, the better.

Robert says: “While there is strong and justified feeling of hurt over broken promises and poor communication around the Australian trade deal, we now need to tell Government it’s time to really invest in home production and the whole system to make it more competitive."

Andrew Osmond is a member of the Commercial Farmers Group

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