CRF, a champion for rural communities.

The Conservative Rural Forum is an affiliated member of the Conservative Party and its aim is to promote the rural agenda within the Party and Government.

Dear Candidates

Congratulations on having made it through to the membership ballot in the contest to become our next Party Leader and Prime Minister.

As you know, the Conservative Rural Forum is a member group of the Conservative Party with the aim of promoting the rural agenda within the Party and Government.

Ballots will shortly be landing on doormats of Party Members across the country – which includes many farmers and others involved in the management of the countryside.

In order to give a voice to our members and supporters we are calling on you to adopt the following approach to rural policies if you were to be elected.

  • An agricultural policy that prioritises food security. This means reviewing the proposed system of support under the Environmental Land Management Schemes to make sure they help farmers in their primary task of food production.
  • An approach to animal welfare based on proven welfare concerns and not an animal rights agenda. This means basing decisions around animal welfare on science and evidence.
  • A commitment to improve public services in rural areas, including schools and healthcare. For too long, people in rural communities have had worse services than people in cities. We need to end the rural services penalty once and for all.
  • An approach to immigration that supports the rural economy. Farmers have been frustrated by Home Office attempts to make it harder to recruit seasonal workers from abroad. We need workable solutions that recognise the needs of farmers.
  • A commitment that any future trade deals will recognise the high standards of animal welfare and food safety of our producers and not undermine this with cheap imports. Future trade deals should have a net-benefit to UK farmers and producers.

We are writing this to you as an open letter to express the views and concerns of our members. We hope you will reflect on these points during the campaign and put them into practice if elected.

We look forward to working with you in future to support farmers and the rural way of life.

Good luck for the rest of the campaign!

All best wishes,

Peter Stevens
Chairman, Conservative Rural Forum

CRF are offering free associate membership for a year.

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