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Lib Dems listening to Farmers’ Concerns in North East Bedfordshire

November 7, 2019 5:20 PM

Daniel Norton with cowsDaniel Norton, parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats in North East Bedfordshire, has been vising local farmers to understand their concerns ahead of the general election.

James Davis from Ouse Valley Dairy near Carlton showed Daniel and Oliver Rubinstein from the National Farmers' Union his herd of Jersey and Friesian cross cows. The herd is kept to high welfare standards and are naturally grass fed, reducing the farm's dependence on imported feed. They also visited the new milking parlour which has significantly improved the efficiency of the farm.

Daniel Norton said "It's great to see local farmers embracing such high standards and investing in their farms to allow them to operate efficiently. It's also encouraging that young farmers like James are finding ways to capture carbon in their soils and deliver other environmental improvements with the aim of moving to net-zero farming.

"Oliver also informed me about some of the problems local farmers are facing, such as rural crime, fly tipping and hare coursing. The Bedfordshire Police were highly praised, but it was clear they do not have enough resources to respond quickly to all incidents.

"I also heard their concerns about the risk of low quality produce from outside the EU entering the UK market after Brexit, and a loss of access to skilled labour from the EU. The UK is rightly proud of our high standards, but it will be very difficult for local farmers to compete against imports that are not produced to the same set of rules.

"Our farmers should not be used as a bargaining chip during trade negotiations. The best way to protect our local farms is to stop Brexit and give farmers the support they need to deliver a brighter future for our countryside."