NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “The report correctly raises concern over UK farmers’ competitiveness and rightly concludes that more investment in British agriculture by way of applied research and a greater emphasis on the sharing of knowledge within our industry is a key priority.
“We believe it is this lack of investment and applied research in British agriculture which is making it harder for farmers to do their job of producing more food for a growing population. Farmers are entrepreneurs and work hard to ensure we have enough domestic food on our plates, while protecting the environment and working to world-class welfare standards.
“During these volatile times, we face enormous challenges, most especially in providing a stable basis for investment and risk-taking. The NFU’s research with our membership also shows that burdensome regulation that penalises rather than encourages our farmers and growers to produce more food is a consistent block to meeting farmers’ productive potential. At the same time, there is a distinct lack of investment in British agricultural research to meet these challenges, whether that’s helping to remain productive during extreme weather or being encouraged to embrace new technologies.
“Farmers have worked hard to ensure that the British public are hugely supportive of the work they do in producing high quality domestic food. Our priority is to ensure we have the right tools to enable us to grow as an industry and to reverse the decline in British self-sufficiency.
“But make no mistake, our farmers and growers are up to, and capable, of the challenge.”
With thanks to NFU.