The AIC has listed its agricultural supply industry priorities for the next government to deliver after the June 8th general election, with Brexit issues dominating.
Itskey demands are for Brexit outcome that recognises the strategic importance of UK agriculture; one that supports a growth agenda and lays the foundation for a competitive, commercial and business sector; and which recognises the potential damage that a ‘no deal’ outcome from the Brexit negotiations would deliver to UK agribusiness.
Continuing on the Brexit theme, the AIC urges the government to work constructively with its EU partners; to recognise the strategic importance of timely and accurate data on trade flows; and to focus on a practical and workable solution to replace the customs union.
“For decades, the UK agricultural industry has been based on complex trading relationships both within the EU and beyond,” comments AIC chief executive David Caffall. “There is a genuine desire for existing trade patterns to be preserved – not just within the UK, but across the EU and further afield, those who export to and import from the UK want to maintain these relationships.”
Turning to internal UK matters, the AIC seeks a government commitment for the continued funding of agri-tech programmes that deliver real benefits across the industry as part of a wider, coherent strategy on science and innovation in agriculture. There should also be formal recognition of the value of professional on-farm advice.
“The AIC’s Value of Advice report highlighted how both industry initiatives and government sources influenced on-farm activity. However, to date, government has failed to capitalise on the benefits that collaboration with industry could deliver in policy terms,” observes Mr Caffall.
“The UK has benefited from industry investment in agricultural research and development. For this commitment to continue, industry needs clear signals that such work will be encouraged. Government needs to send a clear message to the world that the UK is a natural home for agricultural research,” Mr Caffall concluded.
“General Election 2017 – what the UK agricultural supply industry seeks” can be downloaded from the www.agindustries.org.uk website.