17 May 2023
Dunne backs British farming

South Shropshire MP Philip Dunne welcomes the new investment and support unveiled for British farmers at yesterday’s UK Farm to Fork Summit.

This significant gathering brought together representatives from the entire food supply chain at 10 Downing Street, aimed at identifying fresh opportunities to foster growth, drive innovation, and enhance sustainability.

The government has confirmed a series of measures to fortify the long-term resilience and sustainability of the agricultural sector. The Prime Minister outlined a new framework for trade negotiations that places farmers' interests at the core of trade policy, which Mr Dunne has been calling for with the Trade Secretary Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP. This commitment ensures the protection of the UK's food and welfare standards while actively prioritising new export opportunities.

The government has allocated an additional £5.6 million investment to bolster British food exports on a global scale. This investment will be channelled towards expanding trade shows, missions, the GREAT food campaign, the Seafood Exports Package, and establishing an export fund for the dairy sector.

The Government has also increased the number of VISA’s to be issued for the seasonal workers in the agriculture sector season to 45,000.

Recognising the importance of advancing agricultural technologies, the government has earmarked £30 million for the progression of precision breeding technologies. This investment will also establish a working group dedicated to farm-to-shelf production under the Genetic Technology Act.

To ensure fairness within the industry, new powers will be granted to guarantee equitable prices for farmers operating in the egg and horticulture sectors.

Finally, the government has confirmed its future support for horticulture. It plans to replace the EU Fruit and Vegetable Producer Organisation Scheme with an expanded offering in new farming payment schemes after 2026. 

Philip Dunne said,

“South Shropshire farmers work hard around the clock to keep great quality food on our plates, so it’s good to see the Prime Minister hosting this important summit today.

“Our farmers are the engine of our rural economy, bringing jobs and opportunity to Shropshire.  As a farmer myself I welcome the new investment and support for various sectors announced today”.

NFU President Minette Batters said:

“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.

“These actions recognise the importance of coordinated action across government to support confidence, investment, and growth in British food. We look forward to working with the Prime Minister, the Defra Secretary, and the rest of the cabinet to Back British farming and bolster our domestic food security.”