The long-awaited Government support package for businesses announced last Thursday, which preceded the terribly sad news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, sees us without key details about how businesses are to be supported.
Parliament has been in recess meaning further detail about the announcements in real terms for businesses – particularly whether farming is a ‘vulnerable sector’ – are yet to be clarified. NFU President Minette Batters is calling for more details for farming and has said: “Like many sectors, the British farming sector is facing crippling costs. Some fruit and vegetable growers have been hit by 300% increases in energy costs, and horticulture businesses aren’t the only ones impacted. Across all sectors, there are many farmers who simply can’t afford to keep producing the same volume of food.
“Energy is crucial to the whole food producing process, from fertiliser production and heating greenhouses to baking bread, and so the cost of producing food and the cost of energy are closely linked.
Protecting food security
“As we head into the autumn and winter, protecting our food security must be a priority for the Prime Minister. Our farmers are doing all they can to continue producing high quality, affordable food, but we need confidence that this new Government is backing British food and farming and, crucially, reflecting that in its policymaking. This is essential now and beyond the initial six-month scheme and will require the farming industry and the Government to work together to develop targeted support across all farming sectors.
“As it stands, the energy marketplace is volatile and far from transparent. We urge the new energy supply taskforce to develop a plan which supports a functioning domestic energy market – one which provides stability for British farm businesses, rewards those producing renewable energy, and enables the continued production of sustainable and affordable British food for the country.”
For now, NFU Energy is working closely with our suppliers to get the best deals we can. Once we are updated by government and suppliers to know more about how the energy announcement impacts you, we will be in touch prioritising members with more immediate renewals first. Presently, the most up-to-date information is available here - Energy bills support factsheet: 8 September 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). Should you need to speak to us urgently please call us on 024 7669 8885.