UFU comment on future ag policy response

Wednesday, 16 February, 2022

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has submitted its response to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Future Agricultural Policy consultation for Northern Ireland (NI), following consideration within its internal committee structure.

UFU president Victor Chestnutt said, “We would like to thank all our committee members from the various commodities for putting such huge effort into the UFU’s Future Agricultural Policy consultation response, getting it turned around within a very tight time scale.

“Within the consultation, there are some specific points that we have concerns about or need further clarification on. However, in broad terms, we recognise the need for change and are supportive of the direction of travel that the DAERA Minister has taken. In particular, the focus on active farmers and growers in NI.

“We have been reassured that the existing funding levels have been secured for the next three years, and that some extra funding is also available which enabled the introduction of the intended soil testing/LIDAR and ruminant livestock genetics schemes. It is however essential, that additional funding is made available from the other related strategies such as green growth, food, peatlands, and environment to address the wider objectives.

“It is also vital that further engagement occurs to ensure that there is sufficient time for a managed transition and for new measures and schemes to be agreed and implemented.

“The Future Agricultural Policy is a once in a generation opportunity to redefine agriculture policies and support, to ensure the sustainability of our unique family farm structure as we move forward, delivering for the environment, local communities and consumers. It is critical that we get it right.”

The full response can be found by clicking here