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    NFU vows to fight seed shortages across Europe

    NewsTuesday 12 March 2013
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    After being elected as the chairman of an influential committee in Brussels, Andrew Watts has vowed that the NFU will head the fight to end “severe” seed shortages in Europe.

    Mr Watts is the combinable crops board chairman for the NFU and was recently elected as the Chair of the Seeds Advisory Committee to DGAgri.

    He will now be in the post for the first review of all European seed legislation in 40 years.

    Speaking on the NFU official website Mr Watts said: “I am delighted to be elected chairman of the committee. My task now is to make sure that the voice of the farmer is heard during European Commission meetings on a range of issues.

    “This is a crucial time for arable farmers. The last ten months of poor weather have been well documented and the impact on the 2012 harvest in England and Wales has been evident to all.

    “Across Europe farmers are facing severe spring seed shortages. It is clear that we need a more flexible European legislative framework to account for modern farming practice, especially contract farming, and I look forward to working with the Commission to present our case.”

    Apart from seed availability he said he would also use the high-level role to convince EU policy makers to improve existing seed regulations and ensure that high profile topics such as a potential ban on neonicotinoids were not subject to precautionary legislative decisions and instead continued to be based on science.

    Picture courtesy of the NFU. 

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