Local MP back British farmers as shadow of cheap food imports loom after Brexit
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has today shown support for British food and farming on Back British Farming Day, recognising the crucial role farmers play in producing food for the nation and caring for the countryside.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) provided MPs with a Back British Farming wool and wheatsheaf pin badge to publicly display their support at a crucial time for the agricultural sector with trade negotiations, including crucial talks with the EU, ongoing.
The UK food and farming industry is worth more than £120 billion to the national economy and employs more than four million people.
Mr Stephenson, said: “I am extremely proud to wear the Back British Farming pin badge in support of the farming sector that is so valuable not just to this region but to the whole country.
"British farmers and growers are proud to produce safe, traceable and nutritious food we all love to eat to world-leading standards, as well as maintaining the iconic British countryside and sustaining a dynamic rural economy.
“Farmers were rightly identified as key workers during the Coronavirus pandemic. Thanks to those farmers in my constituency, and the wider food supply chain, we were able to ensure supermarket shelves were kept stocked and the nation was fed during this difficult time. I am very grateful for all that they have done and continue to do.
“This autumn will be a critical time for British food and farming and I will do all I can to highlight the importance of protecting the food standards we value in any future trade deals from imported food that would be illegal to produce here.
“I would encourage fellow MPs and members of the pubic to get behind this important campaign and to Back British Farming.”
The campaign by the NFU comes at a time when Labour MPs are warning that cheap food imports post-Brexit could put British farmers at risk.
Daniel Zeichner, shadow Defra minister and Labour MP for Cambridge, said: “British farming is at a crossroads – at risk of being undercut by imports produced to lower environmental, health and welfare standards.
“Now is the time to stand firm, give our farmers a big vote of confidence and keep Britain farming.”
If you would like to find out more about how you can Back British Farming, you can join thousands of supporters of the NFU’s campaign here: www.countrysideonline.co.uk/back-british-farming