Young farmers took the opportunity to remind an MP that those in the rural economy need the right signals from Government if they’re to carry on in business.
Organised by the NFU group secretaries at Broughton and Cockermouth, the farmers met with Jamie Reed, MP for Copeland, Cumbria, on Friday, March 15, to remind him that agriculture is just as an important industry within his constituency as nuclear power.
NFU Cockermouth group secretary Jim Cosker challenged Mr Reed to encourage Sellafield to source its food from the West Cumbrian farming community. He told Jamie Reed egg producers had tried for many years to secure a supply contract for Sellafield, but to no avail. Mr Reed MP replied: “I know improvements are being made to Sellafield supply chains with an increasing focus on buying local but any changes that are made will happen incrementally.”
On the thorny issue of reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy, the NFU members asked Mr Reed to raise concerns with Defra and government ministers based on two threats from our own Government which would disadvantage farmers here compared to those in Europe. These are more costly and demanding forms of “greening” for English farmers than will be required from farmers in the rest of Europe, and increased rates of “voluntary modulation” (moving money from direct payments for farmers to rural development schemes).