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Productive farming "vital to food security"

PUBLISHED: 12:18 11 October 2008 | UPDATED: 08:28 28 March 2014

Embracing the importance of productive agriculture and reducing regulation that restricts competitive practice are two key steps governments must take to ensure secure food production on a global level, NFU Vice President Paul Temple told an international conference today.


Embracing the importance of productive agriculture and reducing regulation that restricts competitive practice are two key steps governments must take to ensure secure food production on a global level, NFU Vice President Paul Temple told an international conference today.


Speaking in his role as chairman of the COPA-COGECA Arable Crops Committee at an event in Finland, Mr Temple said if politicians did not grasp the importance of productive agriculture food production would continue without any long-term vision in an increasingly volatile world market.


He said: "Many farmers are now just working out the cost of another expensive harvest, with rising input costs and declining market prices, and trying to look forward is not easy. There is more to farming than simply profit but our willingness to produce is being changed as many farmers tire of making no money from production. We are also often portrayed as causing environmental problems rather than being a long term environmental asset.


"Government must embrace productive agriculture and its needs or food will continue to be produced but with out any long term vision. Volatile markets will lead to volatile production. Farmers do farm for the long term and, uniquely as an industry, have broader values behind what they do than simply the bottom line but we are increasingly confused as to what is expected of us. This willingness to farm and produce often against the prevailing market circumstance should not be abused by either short term politics or an aggressive and inherently powerful retail supply chain.


"Farming is subjected to incredible levels of regulation, much of which places us at a global disadvantage for trade and production. At the same time our concerns over production and supply are being ignored. Last year's dramatic price rise in the cost of food was caused by critical supply balance.


"With farming there is no instant fix to getting food supply wrong. Just how many times can governments ignore the requirement to embrace productive agriculture to ensure responsible global food supply?"

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