NFU president urges to back British as he steps down

President of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Peter Kendall has urged consumers to back British in return for sustainable farming, in a final message before his resignation from the post.

Kendall said it was vital that consumers back British to ensure farmers can feed the UK’s rapidly growing population. “With parts of the UK again under the cosh after a stormy Christmas I am reminded once more of the influence, not only of the weather but also of the rest of the environment on farming,” he said. “I know farmers wish all those householders suffering from the recent floods and horrendous weather a better start to 2014.”

He explained that the past year had seen an increase in extreme weather records globally, which affects farmers’ potential to grow crops and rear livestock.

“Farmers already accept without reservation our dependency on a thriving, stable environment to deliver on our crucial role – to produce more food in the coming years. Over recent weeks there has been a recurring theme from some environmental groups that farmers at best fail to recognise this and at worst wilfully undermine this critical interdependence.

“However nothing could be further from the truth – for example, what we do for treasured landscapes, such as Britain’s national parks. Without extensive sheep and cattle grazing, the heather and grass moors would revert to rough scrub and woodland. Public access would be difficult and key wildlife species, such as the red grouse, that depend on grazing would be lost,” Kendall explained.

He added that a healthy environment was crucial for the practice of farming – from the quality of air and soil to water and wildlife.

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