MP meets local farmers at Holsworthy Show

Geoffrey Cox, MP for Torridge and West Devon, addressed an audience of farmers at the Holsworthy Show last Thursday on local and national issues facing the farming industry. The MP was invited by the Holsworthy Branch of the National Farmers Union to speak to local farmers in the NFU show stand, particularly on the problems of milk prices and Bovine TB.

Geoffrey Cox said: "The Government has taken the important decision, which farmers called for and which it has successfully defended in the courts, to pilot the limited and humane control of wildlife in areas heavily infected with Bovine TB. We cannot continue slaughtering cattle without tackling the reservoir of infection in the wildlife. But this represents a once in a lifetime opportunity, which if we miss, will not come again, and it is vital that farming communities take it up."

He continued: "We have also introduced the Grocery Code Adjudicator Bill, to ensure much greater fairness and transparency in the dairy and groceries market, in which the supermarkets predominate. The Bill, which will move from the House of Lords to the House of Commons in the Autumn, enables the Adjudicator to be given the teeth to get to grips with the unfair commercial practices that have been used to the detriment of farmers. However, we shall need to measure the response of the retailers and calibrate the extent of the sanctions and powers necessary when we see how positively they embrace the new culture."

He concluded; "I was delighted to participate in a frank and constructive discussion with local farmers on these and other issues. It is essential that I understand their opinions and experiences so that I can continue to articulate them forcefully at Westminster."

Photo: Geoffrey Cox with local farmers at Holsworthy Show