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Norfolk farmers outline their concerns to new environment secretary Liz Truss

PUBLISHED: 17:08 25 July 2014 | UPDATED: 17:08 25 July 2014

New DEFRA minister Liz Truss has visited Grange Farm in Shipdham, to speak to NFU's Norfolk chairman Ken Proctor. Picture: Matthew Usher.

New DEFRA minister Liz Truss has visited Grange Farm in Shipdham, to speak to NFU's Norfolk chairman Ken Proctor. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

Norfolk’s agricultural leaders outlined the priority issues they want the new environment secretary to address as the minister visited a dairy farm near Dereham.

South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss, whose promotion to the cabinet was confirmed earlier this month, was given a tour of Grange Farm at Shipdham, run by Ken Proctor, Norfolk chairman of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

Also attending were NFU country adviser Alex Dinsdale and Norfolk council delegate Tony Bambridge.

The minister was presented with a barrage of challenges, from falling commodity prices to legislative demands on the use of pesticides, the increasing need for land to be used for renewable energy projects, and the need for a solid strategy to improve Britain’s self-sufficiency.

Ms Truss said she was keen to promote British exports, open up public sector markets for local producers in the UK, and simplify the introduction of ecological measures to be enforced within the revised Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), negotiated with the EU.

Mr Proctor said: “Above all else we want to see sustainable agriculture which is going to drive this industry forward, feed the world and produce energy, while protecting the environment at the same time. That is a difficult balance she has got to handle.”

For the full story, see tomorrow’s EDP.

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