Farmers should compete on a level field

Wednesday 17th April 2002 10:00 pm

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CONSERVATIVE MEP Neil Parish met organic farmers in Okehampton last week and heard their concerns over standards of organic imported meat.

Mr Parish met with members of the South West Organic Farmers and Producers plus Diana Moyse and Richard Phillips, both members of West Devon Borough Council, at the White Hart Hotel.

Mr Parish said: 'One of the things they were interested in was the organic standards for production between England and the rest of Europe.

'Our standards are much higher — they were also worried about the quality of produce coming into this country.'

Mr Parish said he was very concerned that South West farmers should be competing on a 'level playing field' with the rest of Europe.

'We will have to lower our standards slightly, but Europe needs to raise its standards significantly,' said Mr Parish, who is himself a farmer in Somerset and a member of the European Parliament's agricultural committee in Brussels.