FEBRUARY 13, 2009: Farming should sit at the core of economic thinking, says the NFU on the eve of a major conference.

It says food production should have an equal footing with the environment in Government policy as agriculture rises to the challenge of producing more while impacting less. The two-day NFU conference opens at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on February 16 with an opening address from NFU president, Peter Kendall.Key speakers at this year’s event include Defra Secretary of State Hilary Benn, World Trade Organisation deputy director general Dr Harsha Vardhana Singh and Nick Herbert, shadow Secretary of State for Defra.With the current economic crisis remaining top of the news agenda, the conference will host Professor Charles Bean, deputy governor of the Bank of England, and head of the economics department at Alfred C. Toepfer International GmbH, Dr Klaus-Dieter Schumacher.This year will also see the unveiling of the new NFU logo, which will mark the end of the centenary celebrations for the organisation and take it forward with one voice for coming generations of English and Welsh farmers and growers.This year those not able to attend the conference will be able to access the action through live web streaming and photographs and news from the main event will be available throughout the day.

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