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CONFERENCE TACKLES JOBS AT RISK IN THE COUNTRYSIDE

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A hard-hitting conference addressing the vital need to generate new rural jobs is being hosted by the Country Lando...
A hard-hitting conference addressing the vital need to generate new rural jobs is being hosted by the Country Landowners Association (CLA) at the QEII Conference Centre in London on October 22.

The changing landscape of agricultural industries and Common Agricultural Policy reforms have, states the CLA, resulted in an estimated loss of 28,000 jobs since 1992. Bringing together key political and business representatives, the conference will debate the economic impact on rural areas of 'downsizing' in farming and ancillary industries.

It aims to provide a forum to assess regenerative measures to create a broader-based rural economy. The role of regional development agencies and the European and UK political agenda will be examined to seek ways of generating more support to create the right environment for new and diversified enterprises to flourish in the countryside.

Speakers include minister for small firms and regional policy Barbara Roche and Christopher Haskins, chairman of Northern Foods, the largest dairy company and food supplier to the UK retail market, is chairing the conference.

CLA president Ewen Cameron, who will be presenting the CLA's case to conference, said: 'Our countryside has different needs and requirements to urban areas and recognition of this rural distinctiveness is important to the future economic and cultural well-being of the UK.

'To succeed in creating new jobs from diversified enterprises in the countryside, there must be political focus on rural issues and the policy framework to attract entrepreneurial forces to inspire diversity and development,' he added.

The CLA represents the interests of 50,000 rural businesses managing 60 per cent of the countryside in England and Wales.

All those with an interest in the creation of sustainable jobs in the countryside, ranging from agricultural employers to land managers and from local authorities to developers, are invited to attend the ground-breaking conference.

Tickets are£100 (plus VAT) or£80 (plus VAT) for CLA members and can be obtained from: Conference Organiser, Country Landowners Association, 16 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PQ; Tel: 0171 235 0511; Fax: 0171 235 0528

NOTES

Speakers are:

- Christopher Haskins, Chairman, Northern Foods

- Barbara Roche MP, Minister for Small Firms and Regional Policy

- Margaret Clark, Director of Policy, Rural Development Commission

- Patrick Piper, Senior Agriculture Manager, Barclays Bank

- Barry Salmon, Chairman, Rural and Agricultural Allied Workers of TGWU

- Nigel Snook, Chief Executive, ATB Landbase

- Laurent Van Depoele, Director of Rural Development, European Commission

- Ewen Cameron, President, Country Landowners' Association

There will also be representatives from a regional government office, Business Links and a rural Training and Enterprise Council as well as business leaders presenting case studies of diversified businesses.

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