16th JULY 2020 - Page 21



FARM WEEK
NEWS
T
HE chamber rung with
endorsements, anecdotes
and genuine warmth from
all sides of the house as on
November 2, Lord Henry Plumb
gave his valedictory speech at the
House of Lords.
During an agriculture debate
tabled by Lord Lindsay (pictured)
which brought forward many
well considered contributions,
Lord Plumb gave his last
speech to the house after 30
U
21
Agriculture advocate steps down from Lords
years, demonstrating his deep
understanding of the issues
the sector faces alongside a
statesmanship which the industry
will find hard to replace.
All members without exception
from all sides of the house
provided their own personal
tributes providing a vivid picture of
a man who has held the highest
Wake up to Mercosur
threat, UFU warns
K POLITICIANS and nongovernmental organisations
(NGOs) need to wake up to
the threat of the Mercosur trade
negotiations on European food
safety, animal welfare and the
environment, the Ulster Farmers’
Union has said.
UFU President Barclay Bell
made the comments in the wake
of reports that the European
Commission is set to increase its
beef quota offer to the Mercosur
states.
“There has been much focus
of late on calls made by UK
politicians and NGOs to increase
environmental and animal welfare
regulations in the UK, post Brexit.
However, these politicians and
NGOs are nowhere to be seen
nor heard in the debate around
the serious threat posed by the
Mercosur trade negotiations,” said
the UFU President.
South American countries do
not come close to matching the
food safety, animal welfare or
environmental standards which
farmers comply with in the UK and
across Europe.
Mr Bell said it is scandalous
NOVEMBER 23 2017
that the European Commission
is prepared to offer Mercosur
increased concessions to export
substandard agricultural products
such as beef into the EU.
“Farmers in the UK comply with
world leading standards and this
is what UK consumers expect. So,
it seems completely hypocritical
for UK politicians and NGOs to
want to keep raising the bar for UK
farmers but yet accept much lower
standards for inferior products
exported from South America to the
EU and which can ultimately end up
in the UK,” added Mr Bell.
“Politicians and NGOs urgently
need to re-focus their priorities and
wake up to the threat the Mercosur
trade negotiations pose. We want
to see fair and balanced trade
arrangements.
“There is no question that
food exported to the UK, should
be produced to the exact same
standards as food produced in
the UK. To do otherwise will only
undermine UK food production,
food security and exacerbate the
risk of environmental degradation
in regions such as South America,”
concluded the UFU President.
office in the EU and the NFU
and defended and enhanced the
agricultural industry’s interests
with intelligence, guile and a
human touch that has enabled him
to achieve so much in a long and
distinguished career.
Recognising his unstinting
and lifelong support of young
people and the role of mentors
in his career, the Henry Plumb
Foundation was acknowledged by
many members as a fitting legacy,
particularly at this time of great
change and opportunity.
At 92 Lord Plumb continues to
deliver, with a prodigious memory
and an unerring ability to put his
finger on the key issue and not be
side-tracked by the morass
of detail.
Attended by family members,
friends and Trustees of the Henry
Plumb Foundation the day ended
with a celebratory dinner at the
Farmers’ Club where inevitably
Lord Plumb provided an insight
into how he will continue to be
involved with and lend inspiration
to the agricultural industry.
Land mobility on the agenda
of UFU in North Down
N
ORTHERN Ireland’s
new Land Mobility
Scheme was on
the agenda of the
November meeting of the
Ulster Farmers’ Union
North Down Group.
Scheme manager John
McCallister the manager
of the new Land Mobility
Programme for Northern
Ireland, spoke at the
meeting, telling those
present that only 48 per
cent of farmers in the
Province, over the age
of 50, had identified a
successor.
He said: “This is one of
the core conclusions to
come out of a recent Young
Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster
survey. We also know that
the average age of a farmer
in Northern Ireland is 58,
while only 18 per cent of
our land is in a state of
optimal fertility.
“These facts confirm
a serious structural
problem at the very heart
RIGHT: Attending the
North Down November
group meeting of the Ulster
Farmers’ Union are Alastair
Parke, John McCallister,
manager of the Land Mobility
Programme for Northern
Ireland and Seamus Killen,
chairman, North Down Group,
Ulster Farmers’ Union
of the farming industry,
one which the new Land
Mobility Programme has
been drawn up to help
address.”
Mr McCallister confirmed
that the land mobility
service will operate in a
very flexible manner.
“It can take in a wide
variety of future land
use alternatives, from
long term leasing
through to share farming
opportunities,” he
explained. “My role is to
match the needs of older
landowners, wishing to
retire or scale down their
farming activities, with
younger people wanting
to develop a career in
production agriculture.
“At the heart of all this
will be the development
of trust between both
parties. And, naturally, it
will take time for this to
grow.”
For further information,
contact John McCallister
on 078 3366 8602.

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