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NFU Steps Up Fight on IPPC with MEPs

by 5m Editor
11 February 2009, at 8:33am

BRUSSELS - NFU President Peter Kendall will be taking the fight on IPPC direct to MEPS in Brussels to keep unnecessary red tape and costs out of agriculture.

Under proposals to revise the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive, originally meant for heavy industry such as power stations, the price of household staples such as chicken, turkey, tomatoes and cucumbers could rise as a result of unjustified cost increases affecting pig and poultry farmers, as well as protected crop growers.

Mr Kendall will have a breakfast meeting with MEPS who will make recommendations on the shape of the EU parliament's verdict to make sure that the voice of British farmers is heard.

"The Commission's proposals will basically expand the scope of the IPPC Directive to cover more pig and poultry farms, including seasonal turkeys and free range producers, as well as glasshouse growers, and will bring with it a plethora of additional bureaucracy on existing IPPC businesses," said Mr Kendall.

"These are all big concerns for the NFU, particularly as these changes come very shortly after the phasing in of the poultry and pig sectors into IPPC in early 2007 and therefore certainly too soon to evaluate the effectiveness of the current measures.

"I want to ensure MEPs understand why agricultural and horticultural businesses should be treated differently from the other industries such as power stations when it comes to controlling emissions. It is in their power to rollback some of the most zealous of the commission's proposals."

These proposals include:

  • Plans to lower the thresholds for poultry
  • The concept of equivalent nitrogen excretion rates
  • The extension of IPPC controls to off-site manure spreading, and the inclusion of some on-farm feed mills and feed mixers as well the extension of controls to glasshouses with combustion boilers.

Mr Kendall added: "Many farmers think that this only affects big intensive producers but if these proposals go through unchanged then many seasonal and small family farms will be included in the future.

"I urge all affected farmers or growers to lobby their MEPs to vote for common sense measures that bring real benefit to the environment rather than changes to a directive that already overburdens the industry."