Farmers from Huntingdonshire heard how the industry is facing a “pivotal” time during a meeting with the deputy president of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU).

Several key farming issues were discussed during the NFU Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire annual county meeting held at Bedford Blues Rugby Club.

Guest speakers included NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw, Bedfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner Festus Akinbusoye and Bedfordshire Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Ian Dalgarno.

Issues discussed included national food security, fairness in the supply chain, watercourse management, rural crime, farm support payments and the forthcoming general election.

Mr Bradshaw said: "We are facing a pivotal time for the farming industry as we move towards the next general election.

"The rural vote is going to be crucial for all political parties and this puts us in a good position to have our voices heard.

"The NFU will be releasing our manifesto in December.

"The government and retailers need to demonstrate that they take national food security seriously and fairness in the supply chain is a key part of this.

"We need action, not just words.

"We need policy and planning to properly address the issue. 

"The long-term consequences of not having a thriving domestic food industry is unthinkable."

He added: "The last six weeks shows that flooding continues to be a huge issue for farmers and the wider community.

"The government needs to address the role of the Environment Agency so it is able to properly protect us from flooding which is a key strand of domestic food security.

"Where flooding does occur and farmers take action to protect communities, they should be properly rewarded for this vital public service."

It was confirmed at the meeting, that Nigel Barnes will be the new NFU county representative for Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire when Kevin Morgan-Jones steps down.

Freya Morgan has another year as the Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire County Chair.