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Norfolk farmers and MPs meet Defra minister in Westminster

Farming minister George Eustice. Picture: Denise Bradley

Farming minister George Eustice. Picture: Denise Bradley

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Key farming concerns were under the spotlight when Norfolk farmers and MPs met Defra minister George Eustice at Westminster.

Ten National Farmers’ Union (NFU) members, led by county chairman Tony Bambridge, travelled to London to highlight issues including the future of farm labour, trade after Brexit and concerns over the future of water abstraction in the Norfolk Broads.

Mr Bambridge said: “We stressed that food production should be front and centre of future government policies on agriculture – it’s the central plank of what farms do.

“The shape of future trade arrangements is vitally important as well, to ensure our farm businesses have a sustainable, profitable and progressive future after Brexit.”

During the meeting, Norfolk’s delegation also urged Mr Eustice to ensure that lowland grazing receives the same support as upland grazing in the government’s post-Brexit farming policies.

“We highlighted the crucial role that lowland grazing fulfils in the Norfolk Broads, not just for agriculture but for tourism and the environment as well,” said Mr Bambridge.

At Portcullis House the group also met North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb, Broadland MP Keith Simpson, North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham and South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon.

NFU Norfolk county adviser John Newton said: “This was a worthwhile opportunity to make Norfolk MPs, and the minister, aware about local issues and also the wider agricultural issues affecting farm businesses in the county.

“It was a chance to remind them of the vital role farming plays in Norfolk as well, underpinning the county’s food and drink sector, its rural communities and the countryside.”


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