Neil Parish, MP and EFRA Chairman, speaks about British Wool
Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton & Honiton and Chairman of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee, recently attended British Wool’s national conference as keynote speaker.
Well recognised as a strong voice for the countryside, Mr Parish was a farmer in his native Somerset before entering politics, and still lives on the family farm. Addressing the conference, Mr Parish talked about the essential role sheep and farmers play in maintaining the fabric of the UK’s countryside, and also answered a range of questions about the future of the industry post Brexit.
On post Brexit support measures, Mr Parish feels that “It’s very important for the British public to realise that our landscape is managed by farmers. Sheep do a fantastic job of maintaining grassland, and our farmers must continue to be supported appropriately. This could involve actions which help sheep farming become more competitive, or some form of grassland payment to keep sheep grazing. We must also be determined to ensure support reaches the right people – the farmer rather than the landowner.”
Mr Parish went onto to discuss what the British agricultural policy post-Brexit could look like. “It will be a British agricultural policy and then I see parts of that policy being devolved.” He went on to stress the importance of certain parts of the policy such as payments being similar to avoid “creating too much competition on the borders.”
Mr Parish concluded by saying “I’m very impressed with what’s been happening at British Wool, there has been a new management team put in place, its leaner and looking towards the consumer to make sure we can promote British wool carpets, insulation and garments.”
Notes to editors:
British Wool is based in Bradford and is owned by approximately 40,000 sheep farmers in the UK. It collects, grades, sells and promotes British Wool to the international wool textile industry for use in flooring, furnishings and apparel.
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