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Rutland Farmer meets MEP to outline Brexit concerns

A Rutland farmer has outlined his concerns for the farming community following Brexit to East Midlands MEP Rory Palmer.

Caldecott farmer Andrew Brown spoke about sustainable farming when Mr Palmer, a Labour MEP, visited his farm.

Farmer Andrew Brown and MEP Rory Palmer (6482364)
Farmer Andrew Brown and MEP Rory Palmer (6482364)

Andrew runs a 620-acre farm growing rape, wheat, beans and barley, as well as providing pasture for sheep and cattle. He discussed with Mr Palmer a range of innovative proposals to improve farming practice before the conversation turned to Brexit.

The National Farmers’ Union believes a no-deal could spell catastrophe for UK food supplies and with three quarters of the land in Leicestershire and Rutland maintained by the farming community, the area generates around £300m for the economy from livestock rearing and crops.

Andrew said: “It was a pleasure to show Rory around the farm and very encouraging to see a politician taking an interest in the complexities of sustainable food production.

“We discussed a range of topics including efficiency, traceability, environmental protection and public education. There is a pressing need for a radical rethink of policy in these areas; however, the uncertainty of Brexit is casting a long shadow.

“A stable relationship with the rest of Europe is essential to the future of farming in the UK and we must not forget the benefits that our participation in the Common Agricultural Policy has brought.

“It costs around 25p per person, per day, to provide safe, secure, affordable food raised to some of the best welfare and environmental standards in the world. If we crash out of the EU at the end of March without a deal, this is at risk.”

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