Sir Bill Wiggin, Member of Parliament for North Herefordshire, has welcomed new investment and support for British farmers set out at the UK Farm to Fork Summit yesterday.

Representatives from the whole food supply chain came together at 10 Downing Street for the summit, to identify further opportunities to boost growth, drive innovation and improve sustainability. The summit fulfils a commitment made by the Prime Minister last summer.

Sir Bill commented:

“I know how much pride farmers in North Herefordshire take in the quality of the food they produce. So it is great that to see the Prime Minister recognising their efforts by hosting this summit. Farmers are the engine of our local economy bringing jobs and opportunity to Herefordshire. I welcome the new investment and support to the industry that has been announced.”

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Dr Thérèse Coffey said:

“Our British farmers and food producers are the backbone of the rural economy and crucial to our food security. We want to promote growth, investment and put more UK food and drink on plates – both at home and abroad.”

Ahead of the Summit, the Government confirmed a range of further new measures to help strengthen the long-term resilience and sustainability of the sector.

Announcements include:

  • The Prime Minister set out a new framework for trade negotiations: putting farmers’ interests at the heart of trade policy, committing to protect the UK’s high food and welfare standards and prioritise new export opportunities.
  • £5.6 million additional investment to boost exports of great British food around the world: increasing global trade shows and missions, expanding the successful GREAT food and drink campaign, extending the Seafood Exports Package, and providing a bespoke export fund for the dairy sector
  • £30 million investment to build on the new Genetic Technology Act: driving forward the use of precision breeding technologies and convening a working group to help produce from farms to the shelves.
  • Using new powers to make sure farmers get a fair price for their produce in the egg and horticulture sectors: Following progress in the reviews of the dairy and pig supply chains utilising powers in the Agriculture Act, the next reviews will take place in the egg and horticulture sectors
  • Confirming the future of support for horticulture: Confirming we will improve future support for horticulture by replacing the retained EU Fruit and Vegetable Producer Organisation Scheme when it closes in 2026 with an expanded offer as part of our new farming payment schemes.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“I will always back British farmers, and I pay tribute to their hard work and dedication all year round which keeps shelves stocked and food on our tables. Supporting our farmers and food producers must, and always will be, at the heart of our plans to grow the economy and build a more prosperous country. That’s why I’m proud to host this summit, and working together, I’m determined to build resilience, strengthen our food security and champion the best of British at home and overseas.”

NFU President Minette Batters commented:

“I am absolutely delighted that the Prime Minister has honoured the commitments he made when he addressed our hustings event back in the summer to hold this food summit at Number 10, and we welcome the announcements made today. They show a recognition and an understanding of the strategic importance of British food and farming to the nation.”

You can read the Government’s policy update following the UK Farm to Fork summit held at 10 Downing Street on 16 May 2023 here.

To read the Prime Minister’s open letter to British Farmers click here.