AS MOST FOOD COMES FROM FARMS – FARMING IS MORE THAN A “RURAL AFFAIR”.
“DEFRA” – “DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND RURAL AFFAIRS” MUST GIVE WAY TO A “MINISTRY OF FOOD” TO INCLUDE FARMING AND FISHING. WE CANNOT EAT THE “ENVIRONMENT” THE RADICAL
PM Boris Johnson pressed about uncertainty of future ag policy on farm visit
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been urged to provide more clarity on his future agricultural policy ’as soon as possible’ on an NFU farm visit in Derbyshire.
PM Boris Johnson visits Derbyshire farm
The call came while Mr Johnson was visiting Stuart and Leanne Fairfax, tenant livestock farmers in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire on Friday April 23, along with NFU president Minette Batters.
Mr Fairfax, who farms sheep and cattle and has more than 200 acres entered into an agri-environmental scheme, said it was surreal to have the Prime Minister on the farm at an incredibly busy time.
“We are pleased that we could show him how farming and food production works hand-in-hand with our work for the environment, particularly as part of the iconic landscape in the Peak District,” Mr Fairfax said.
“This relationship is something you will see on family farms like ours across the country.
“It was also important to talk to him about the uncertainty many farmers are facing at the moment, particularly as we do not know the full details of what will take over from the Basic Payment Scheme payments that many farmers rely on.”
Ms Batters added it was important that the Prime Minister saw for himself just how British farmers are delivering for the nation and leading the way in animal welfare standards and environmental protection.
“The Fairfax’s are a fantastic example of a family farm who are working hard to produce the safe, traceable and nutritious food that the nation values so much. It was great to see the Prime Minister so engaged in farming’s integrated approach,” Ms Batters said.
“He was particularly interested in Stuart as an upland farmer selling breeding stock to lowland farms.
“We absolutely share the Government’s ambition to export fantastic British produce in new trade deals, where we believe we can act as global leaders.
“It was great to discuss how we can build on the current Open Doors campaign and the potential for the government to match-fund the current £60 million farmer-led investment to drive exports, showcase global Britain and demonstrate that the UK is serious about food and farming exports.”
Ms Batters said she stressed to the Prime Minister the importance of the Government’s new agricultural policy in supporting British food production and how investing in and levelling up rural Britain can deliver huge benefits for the rest of the nation, from jobs and wellbeing for the public, to exports and green growth.
“However, I did raise my concerns about the current lack of information available to farmers about his Government’s agricultural transition plan,” Ms Batters said.
“Farming is a long-term business and farmers will be making decisions now for many years down the line.
“The ongoing uncertainty about how they will replace income under the Basic Payment Scheme is damaging business confidence, which remains negative.
“I urged the Prime Minister to provide more clarity on his future agricultural policy as soon as possible.”