Farmers aren’t always happy with the treatment they receive from government, and it’s fair to say they’re often not among the glossier industries that get prioritised in policy-making. This time though, they are annoyed at someone in particular.
Grant Shapps, the business secretary, has apparently told leaders at the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) that “there wasn’t time to meet”. This comes amid a farming crisis, in which rising costs of fuel and fertilisers are stretching the farmers’ ability to produce what’s needed by the nation.
NFU president Minette Batters has defined Shapps’ answer as “frustrating”. Batters has warned that the government risks “sleepwalking” into a food supply crisis. Expect some egg shortages 2.0, in short.
Batters is pushing the government to lift the cap on seasonal overseas workers, and to provide additional support to an industry in crisis. Perhaps Shapps should clear his calendar, as these issues are not going away any time soon.