Suggestions that UK farmers could organise a mass rally in London in early 2020, possibly echoing the protests which have been seen across Europe, have not received universal backing from farmers and growers.
NFU president Minette Batters revealed that the Union is working with NFU Scotland, NFU Cymru and the Ulster Farmers’ Union, to develop plans for “for a rally to encourage support for our high standards of food production and the importance of fairness for British food producers.” She added, “British farming is at a critical juncture and, in the coming months, it could be more important than ever to make our voice heard and demonstrate the importance of a thriving domestic food production system to politicians and the public. We know we have massive support from British people when it comes to British farming’s high standards, traceability and safety.”
While there has generally been support for the idea, sheep farmers have warned that the proposed date could fall in the middle of the lambing period, while others suggested that filling major cities with tractors could undermine farming’s environmental credentials and alienate the public.
Recent weeks have seen major protests by Irish, German, Dutch and French farmers against everything from proposed restrictions on livestock numbers to general discontent with the way the industry is portrayed in the media.
Photo caption: German farmers are among those who have recently taken to the streets to protest