National Farmers' Union Conference

03 March, 2006

Give us these and we'll agree, say farmers

Farmers will set three pre conditions to agreeing to the Government's vision of the removal of all agricultural support by 2020, NFU president Tim Bennett told delegates. Reductions in support had to be evenly spread across Europe, it had to be part of a world movement, and the market and supply chain had to function properly.

"Give us equal treatment in Europe, big cuts in trade distorting subsidies in the rest of the world and a properly functioning market and you will find English and Welsh farmers competing successfully" he said.

It was nothing short of a tragedy, however, that the 2003 CAP reform had gone so badly wrong on the ground with some payments not being made until the end of March.

On world trade talks Mr Bennett said the Commission had done a pretty good job so far. It was good to see that agriculture and Europe were "not in the dock or the scapegoat for lack of progress." The timetable for a deal was really tight and the NFU wants a deal but not at any price, he said.

"Before we even think about anything more we need to see real concessions from the USA on its farm subsidies and from Brazil and other advanced developing countries on non-agricultural market access."

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