Too Much EU Legislation Will Hit Productivity

EU - Complex EU legislation will make it more difficult to increase productivity across Europe, the UK's National Farmers' Union (NFU) Deputy President Meurig Raymond said yesterday (2 November).
calendar icon 3 November 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

Mr Raymond was addressing Cropworld 2010 at London’s ExCel – the global congress and exhibition looking at sustainable crop production. He will examine how Europe can help meet the growing world demand for food while at the same time facing ever increasing environmental targets.

Mr Raymond said: “The predicted need to increase food production by at least 70 per cent by 2050 to meet the needs of a growing world population has been widely documented. And although Europe has been leading the way by introducing new legislation to protect the environment, this is now starting to have a negative impact on production. The controls are getting ever stricter and limiting inputs which, in turn, are limiting outputs.

"This is only likely to get worse as legislation is implemented. Examples include the new Pesticide Registration Regulation, NVZ legislation and Water Framework Directive. In some cases, like the Drinking Water Directive, Europe has gone too far. It imposes large costs on industry for negligible benefits to health and the environment and needs to be renegotiated.

“To reduce the impact on the industry, legislation needs to be implemented as flexibly and practically as possible and not based on emotion or simplistic ‘tabloid newspaper views’. It should be better, simplified and more workable and needs to be scientifically based and proportionate. It should also be based on long term goals and designed to give farmers across Europe a level playing field. Modern intensive agriculture helps to ensure that farmers continue to provide sufficient quantities of safe and affordable food to help meet rising world demand. Over regulation in Europe will disadvantage European farmers and prevent them from doing this," Mr Raymond concluded.

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