Speaking at the CPA Annual Convention Sir James Paice MP (Conservative), Huw Irranca-Davies MP (Labour) and David Heath MP (Liberal Democrat) were invited to outline the policies and approach they believe the next government should take to support productive agriculture in the UK and to meet the challenges of food security in the coming decades.
Speaking at the event Nick von Westenholz, CEO of the CPA said:
"With under a year to go before the next General Election, it was encouraging to hear MPs from across the political spectrum all agree that the next UK government should work to boost domestic agricultural productivity.
"Those of us involved in food and farming policy are keenly aware that our issues are often complex and require an element of judgement and balance to resolve. In recent years UK politicians seem to have grasped the importance of taking time and care to develop policy that supports productive and sustainable agriculture. However, it's all too apparent that their European colleagues have yet to do the same and seem to be unaware of the role their continent must play in optimising agricultural productivity.
"We see this most vividly with EU policy-makers taking an overly precautious approach to crop protection technologies. This has meant that many of the key crop protection products our farmers rely on are, or are at risk of, being taken off the market, even though they have been proven to be safe and are subject to one of the most stringent approvals processes in the world
"With European elections imminent it's vital that UK politicians engage with EU institutions and their European counterparts to make sure food and farming policy is based on sound science, fosters innovation and protects our farmers' competitiveness. And it's a message farmers and the wider agricultural sector need to continually press home with our MPs and MEPs as a matter of urgency.
"If this message fails to be heard, the implications for farming and food security could be devastating."