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NFU President`s opening speech

by 5m Editor
26 February 2007, at 2:57pm

UK - NFU President Peter Kendall today called on the country`s supermarkets to match their words with actions or the dairy sector would go into `meltdown`.

Speaking at the start of this year`s NFU Conference in Birmingham, Mr Kendall laid down the challenge to Sainsbury`s chief executive Justin King.

He said: "He [Mr King] seems to go on about the dairy sector being over-supplied which I find baffling. We’re only 85 per cent self-sufficient in milk. Our message for him is it’s time for actions, not words. Wherever I go people are planning their exit. We’re going to see a meltdown if they don’t their money where their mouth is."

Mr Kendall also demanded more action from the Government to deal with bovine TB.

He said: "The Government must have the courage to tackle the reservoir of disease in badgers. We must act now.

"We know from the frustration of people that we need to see a real attempt to tackle the vectors of the disease.

"In the South West I really was quite shocked at the impact TB is having on people’s businesses. We’re trying to highlight both the economic and emotional impact this is having on farm businesses."

Mr Kendall also called on more farmers to come forward to give evidence to the Competition Commission inquiry into the supermarkets.

"We’re finding it really frustrating. We’re finding it very tough, we’ve got a handful of people who are ready to come forward. I’m pleading with farmers to come forward with their experiences," he said.

To read Peter Kendall's speech - NFU Conference 2007 (PDF) Click Here

5m Editor