NFU urges banks to help farmers invest during the run-up to Brexit
- Credit: Toby Lea / NFU
Farming leaders have called on the banking industry to find collaborative solutions which can support the growing investment needs of agricultural businesses.
National Farmers' Union (NFU) president Meurig Raymond met with senior bankers to underline the importance of investment in creating more resilient and productive food businesses, ahead of potential economic uncertainty of Brexit.
This comes as an NFU survey shows the numbers of farmers requesting to borrow money has increased to 42pc in 2016 – up 4pc on the previous year. Of these farmers, 66pc feel banks would be supportive – down 10pc on last year.
Mr Raymond said: 'The need for investment in farms has always been there – but with Brexit looming that need has certainly escalated. Productive and profitable farm businesses are vital as the government enters these major policy negotiations.
'In light of this, we took the opportunity today to underline the need for banks to make clear to farmers that they are supportive of the sector.
'I was pleased to hear that the NFU and banks in the room were all in agreement – looking to government to add a much-needed element of certainty to their businesses.
'We've established in recent weeks that the right trade environment and the continued access to labour post-Brexit are pivotal for UK food and farming. When we reflected on this, the banks round the table could see that clarity on these issues will determine not only farming's success, but the success of the nation's economy.'