Welcome to the Summer edition of our Agricultural Law Briefing.
It was notable that during the long recession, agriculture remained fairly buoyant, despite some very difficult weather events. We now have growth and increasing confidence in the wider UK economy, but in contrast, agriculture is facing real challenges, including a squeeze on arable farmers.
Then there’s the drop in beef prices, coupled with some supermarkets rolling back on their post horse-meat scandal promises to source more UK meat. Despite swearing commitment to UK farmers last year, Tesco is clearly facing pressure from the likes of Aldi and Lidl – it remains to be seen which priority will win out. With its shrewd appointment of ex-NFU man Tom Hind as its Agriculture Director, we have to hope that Tesco’s commitment holds firm.
Meanwhile its full speed ahead on the CAP front with greening rules announced in the nick of time. Owen Paterson admits he lost the argument on crop diversification and EFAs – so we can now only hope he makes headway in time for the CAP mid-term review in 2017.
This edition of Field Talk sees a change in management at Clarke Willmott, hence the different name and photograph for this Leader column. This gives me the opportunity to acknowledge the long and knowledgeable editorship of my partner Tim Russ, from whom I have taken over.
We hope you enjoy this edition of Field Talk. As ever, please do contact us for a no-obligation discussion if you need further advice.
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