Young farmers from across Europe visited the UK to discuss the impact of potential trade and policy changes post-Brexit at a seminar organised by The National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (NFYFC) and the NFU Next Generation Forum. The visit, which involved members of the European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA), have seen young farmers from Europe and the UK meet to debate and establish the next generation’s position on Brexit.
The two-day event, supported by Defra, Massey Ferguson and the Crop Protection Association, involved workshops and concluded with a crucial seminar called Brexit and Beyond.
NFYFC and the NFU share joint-membership of CEJA, and with policy and trade changes imminent, opportunities and collaboration for next generation farmers both at home and in Europe are rife for discussion.
CEJA’s President Jannes Maes said: “In these times of change, it is of paramount importance that we keep an open dialogue among young and future farmers across Europe. British young farmers have been longstanding and valued members of CEJA and we look forward to continuing this fruitful collaboration, regardless of what Brexit might bring.”
The bid to host the event was approved by the NFYFC Council, the NFU and CEJA last year and NFYFC Chairman Lynsey Martin said it was essential to get young farmers talking. “Collaboration and forward-thinking discussions with European young farmers are important during this time of change. Our CEJA membership has stood the next generation in good stead for Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) considerations and we relish mutual support during the consultation and implementation of a British agricultural policy. Brexit is as much of a concern for European young farmers as it is for us, so this is a great opportunity for scene-setting, debate and discussion.”
Richard Bower, Chair of the NFU Next Generation Forum said: “Our organisations have always enjoyed a close relationship and the joint-membership of CEJA has been productive and enjoyable. We want to ensure future next generation collaboration and to maintain a close, working relationship with European young farmers.”
The event was supported by Massey Ferguson and Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson, Director Marketing Services and PR, Europe and Middle East said: “Massey Ferguson is fully-focused on the requirements of the new generation of farmers and promoting the growth of their farming businesses. As a principal partner of CEJA and a key sponsor of the Young Farmers movement in the UK and Eire, we are very pleased to support this collaborative discussion forum at Stoneleigh Park.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
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NFYFC – The National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs (NFYFC) is one of the largest rural youth organisations in the UK dedicated to young people who have a love for agriculture and rural life. Led by young people, for young people, our 619 Young Farmers’ Clubs in England and Wales provide 25,000 members aged 10 to 26 with a unique opportunity to develop skills and work with their local communities on food, farming, rural and environmental issues.
CEJA – European Council of Young Farmers – Acting as a forum for communication and dialogue between young farmers and European decision makers, CEJA’s main objective is to promote a younger and innovative agricultural sector across the EU 28 and to create good working and living conditions for young people setting up in farming and those who are already young farmers. NFYFC and NFU Next Generation Forum members represent young farmers at CEJA working groups and consultations.
NFU Next Generation Forum – The NFU believes the future of agriculture is dependent on good young farmers driving forward innovation and improving competitiveness in each sector. The Next Generation Policy Forum is a group of 13 younger farming members who put forward the next generation’s views on current policy developments. Many organisations work hard to support younger farmers, not least the NFYFC, an organisation which the NFU is proud to have a strong relationship with. YFC and Next Generation Forum members attend respective meetings and forums.
Massey Ferguson Massey Ferguson offers a full-line of farm machinery products and services including tractors, combine harvesters, balers, Hay & Forage tools and materials handling equipment. The brand is a highly-active supporter of young enterprise in agriculture. It is a partner of CEJA, the European Council of Young Farmers and works with the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs (England and Wales), the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs, the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster and Macra na Feirme.
Crop Protection Association – The Crop Protection Association is the voice of the UK plant science industry. Promoting the essential role of science and innovation in protecting food, parks, gardens, roads and railways. Advocating good stewardship, better regulation and best practice.