Massey Ferguson sponsored the keynote Political Session at this year’s Oxford Farming Conference in the UK. The Conference sets the farming agenda at the beginning of every year attracting speakers and delegates from across the UK, Europe and beyond.
Entitled ‘Opportunity Agriculture’, the Political Session featured EU Farm Commissioner Dacian Ciolos, Irish Farm Minister Simon Coveney, UK Farm Minister Owen Paterson and the head of the UK National Farmers Union Peter Kendall.
Echoing Massey Ferguson's focus on a New Generation of farmers and innovation, Mr Ciolos said the recently agreed Common Agricultural Policy frees farmers to produce while protecting the environment and encouraging new entrants. "The public expect that in return for support, farmers should help protect wildlife and maintain rural life," said Mr Ciolos, adding that although there can never be full agreement on the direction of the CAP from the 28 diverse countries of the EU, there should at least be common principles that apply to everyone.
Mr Kendall has been the president of the NFU for eight years but is stepping down from the role in February. In a speech that he admitted was not necessarily NFU policy, he agreed that developing a common policy is almost impossible and that it should just focus on food production in a global market and leave social and environmental issues to individual Governments.
Mr Coveney said that farming is key to Ireland's economic recovery adding that nearly half of all the 58,000 jobs created in the country over the last year have been in farming. This is another example of the enthusiasm for farming among younger people that Massey Ferguson has identified.
Mr Paterson said that the UK Government is helping to support agriculture by developing science and technology. "We are spending £160 million on our AgriTech strategy,” he stated. With nearly 40% of UK food imported, there is a long way to go and he pledged his support for a Buy British campaign.
The conference also heard from the Queen's daughter The Princess Royal. Her 'Vision of the Future' is a farming industry of passionate farmers who embrace new technology and get across the importance of farming to the wider public.
To view videos of the Oxford Farming Conference, click here: http://www.ofc.org.uk/videos
Farming is key to Ireland's economic recovery adding that nearly half of all the 58,000 jobs created in the country over the last year have been in farming.