Standing up for farming
Mark Thomas, Head of Marketing and Communications
Farming rarely receives a positive press. Much of what we read in the media is unbalanced and the many stories about what farming provides are often overlooked. We are delighted to see the NFU working to address this through their ‘Farming Delivers’ initiative and there are many individual farmers working to change the misconceptions held in some quarters about our fine industry.
In addition to promoting the benefits of what we do, we should always be aware that politicians need reminding about how farming contributes to the economy, the environment and to the well-being of society. There is a danger that new regulations and legislation can be introduced without due consideration of the full facts and this is where Agrii seeks to do our bit to stand up for our customers and for the farming industry.
As well as supporting our customers with their individual farming operations, Agrii personnel are actively involved with a number of initiatives to support, lobby and promote our customers interests from a wider perspective. We work in an industry that produces food and can impact (positively as well as negatively) on the environment – two emotive areas which means we are always under the spotlight from the public, politicians and the media and vulnerable to what are on occasion ill-informed criticisms.
The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) is the UK trade association for the agricultural supply industry, they work to lobby policy makers and promote the benefits of modern commercial agriculture throughout the food chain. Agrii are heavily involved at all levels with AIC, including board representation. Agrii personnel dedicate time to serve on a number of AIC committees, including the crop protection, fertiliser, technical, environmental and logistics forums, providing specialist input to AIC activities and to ensure we can give direct feedback on issues that might affect our customers, before legislation is formulated. It helps to ensure we have a significant input and awareness of policy issues that could affect our business and that of our customers.
Agrii staff are also involved in a range of environmental initiatives, to promote safe practice and demonstrate the positive impact that modern, professional farming can have, Including the Voluntary Initiative, the Campaign for the Farmed Environment and Catchment Sensitive Farming. We are a founder member of the new Harper Adams Soil and Water Centre and have representation on the Fresh Produce Consortium Technical Committee and the Industry Group of the British Beet Research Organisation In addition to this, we host around 150 events annually on our demonstration farms to share best practice and new ideas with our customers and are active participants in the UK’s annual Voluntary Initiative National Register of Sprayer Operators (NROSO) scheme. We have also been responsible for spearheading the drive for a separate course applicable to fruit crops. This initiative has played a significant role in averting the threat of a pesticide tax, as well as satisfying many of the requirements of the, recently introduced, Sustainable Use Directive (SUD.)
Agrii work with over 20,000 farm customers and with this comes a significant responsibility that we take very seriously – to our customers, to the environment and to food safety. Rest assured we will continue to work and lobby on your behalf to ensure Farming’s voice is heard where it matters.
←Back Table of Contents