Farming News - NFU welcomes Secretary of State’s support for Today's Back British Farming Day

NFU welcomes Secretary of State’s support for Today's Back British Farming Day

13 Sep 2017
Frontdesk

The NFU has welcomed commitments from Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove to publicly support the British farming sector on today’s Back British Farming Day (13 September).

The NFU’s Back British Farming Day is a rallying call to encourage MPs to use their position in Westminster to support British farming, particularly in forthcoming Brexit negotiationsThe NFU has a 10-point Back British Farming pledge which they will be encouraging MPs to sign and support on Back British Farming Day.

During an interview for this month’s edition of British Farmer and Grower -the NFU’s membership magazine - Michael Gove made the following points:

·         The Cabinet has an enthusiasm and desire to back British farming which is extended across Government;

·         He confirmed he will be wearing a special ‘Back British Farming Day’ pin badge which have been sent to all MPs ahead of the event and wants his fellow politicians to do the same. (The badges are made from British wheat and wool to represent the ‘horn and corn’ elements of British farming).

·         Government should support farmers to become more efficient, more productive and more competitive;

·         And during Brexit he wants Government to support farmers more than ever, not just to export to new markets but also to ensure that domestics and European markets continue to benefit from high quality British produce.

NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “We welcome the Secretary of State’s commitments ahead of Back British Farming Day. This support will be critical for the farming sector as Brexit negotiations get underway. 

“It’s vital the Secretary of State stays true to these commitments and encourages the wider Cabinet to champion British farming and ensures agriculture is a central part of the political conversation during Brexit negotiations. We must ensure farming in this country has a thriving future outside of the EU.

“Back British Farming Day provides us with the perfect opportunity to engage with MPs across the political parties to ensure that any decisions taken in Parliament reflect the strategic importance of British food and farming to our nation.”

The 10-point Back British Farming pledge

  • Ensure every decision I make reflects the strategic importance of British food and farming to our nation’s home-grown food supply.
  • Work to ensure British farmers retain the best possible access to existing markets both inside and outside of the EU.
  • Safeguard the rules governing imports to ensure consumers enjoy the same high standards from imported food and drink as those adhered to by British farmers.
  •  Be an advocate for British farming and its commitment to driving some of the highest standards in the world for animal welfare.
  • Remember a productive, profitable and progressive farming sector is the best way to secure the rural economy.
  • Support a domestic farm policy that invests in our food and farming sector so that it becomes increasingly productive, profitable and sustainable.
  •  Put in place measures that secure reliable and competent workers for British farms.
  • Reinforce farmers’ key role as the principal custodians of our countryside, managing and protecting the environment.
  •  Implement policies that are science and evidence-based to create the right regulatory environment for British food and farming.
  •  Ensure that the process of leaving the EU maintains the highest level of certainty and stability for British farm businesses.

Mr Gove concluded the interview “Above all I want to make sure that our farming industry becomes even more productive, even more successful, and if anything, even more appreciated by the public.”

“ As long as I’m in this department, I’ll do everything I can to look at how we can drive sustainable intensification, how we can help transfer technology so we can make sure people can grow more and sell more.”

 

“ And at the same time I recognise that farmers have a special place in the hearts of citizens, not just because of the food they produce, but also because our countryside looks the way it does because of farmers. They are the original friends of the earth and I want to make sure that people appreciate the environmental benefits that we gain from the people who are responsible for the food we eat and countryside we love.”