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NFU urges farmers to join crucial post-Brexit policy discussions

Robert Sheasby, NFU East Anglia

Robert Sheasby, NFU East Anglia

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Farmers have been urged to help shape the future of their industry at meetings across East Anglia which will guide the sector's response to a major government policy consultation.

Defra is seeking views on potential strategies on how domestic farming policy should be structured as Britain leaves the EU and the confines of its Common Agricultural Policy.

Environment secretary Michael Gove has already stated he wants to end the EU’s system of direct payments based on the amount of land farmed and instead redirect public money to reward “public goods” such as environmental enhancements and sustainable food production.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) says the consultation paper is “arguably the most significant report in decades” and will have an impact on the industry’s future for generations to come.

As it prepares its response, the NFU is holding meetings across the region to brief its members and to give them an opportunity to make their opinions heard.

Robert Sheasby, the NFU’s regional director for East Anglia, said: “As Michael Gove has said, these proposals mark the start of a conversation, not a conclusion.

“It’s vital for farmers, the countryside and the public that we make the right decisions now – decisions that will shape the future of food production and environmental protection outside of the European Union for many years to come.

“I would urge NFU members to come along to one of these meetings. We want each and every to have the opportunity to have their say on this very significant consultation, so that together the voice of farming and its interests are heard loud and clear by government and parliament.”

Six meetings have been arranged across the region, each running from 8am to 10am, with members of the NFU’s Brexit team leading the discussions.

NFU members should call 01638 672100 to book.

The dates and venues are:

Monday 16 April

• Forest of Marston Vale, The Forest Centre, Station Road, Marston Moretaine, Bedford.

Tuesday 17 April

• The Oliver Cromwell Hotel, 97 High Street, March, Cambridgeshire.

Wednesday 18 April

• Cedars Hotel, Needham Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk.

• Wodson Park Sports & Social Centre, Westmill Road, Ware, Hertfordshire.

Thursday 19 April

• Barnham Broom Hotel, Honingham Road, Barnham Broom, Norfolk.

• Writtle College, Chelmsford, Essex.

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