European Farming Conference Hosted at RAU

CIRENCESTER hosted a major European farming conference last month which saw more than 100 delegates from throughout the EU converge on the town.

The South West Agriculture Conference was hosted by Cirencester’s Royal Agricultural University on April 26 and saw people from the farming and environmental sectors in the region meet with policy makers from the UK and European governments.

South West and Gibraltar MEP Julie Girling organised the event, which was attended by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Owen Paterson MP. She said it was very well received by everyone who attended.

“We had a great set of speakers, with the secretary of state kicking it off,” she said.

“I was very pleased to be able to hold it at the RAU and that people came from a long way away to attend.”

She added a number of people had already asked if it would become an annual event and said she was considering it.

Among the speakers were RAU principal Chris Gaskell and Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, who said the event was particularly timely in view of current reforms of agricultural policy currently under consideration by the European parliament.

“The secretary of state had a hard-hitting message that British agriculture should increasingly rely on getting its income from the market,” he said, adding the rider that agricultural subsidies would inevitably decline slowly because of the economic situation in Europe.

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