Our food standards campaign: The journey so far

29 September 2020

Farming Family Clotton Hall Dairy the Cookes_66083

Here at Countryside, we champion food, farming and rural life and are part of the wider NFU which represents over 47,000 British farmers.

These farming families are proud to produce our nation's tasty, high quality and affordable food, that's safe traceable and produced to high animal welfare and environmental standards. But they're only able to do this if they can compete fairly with the rest of world.

That's why we need the UK Government to put laws in place that prevent imports of food that is produced in ways that are illegal here in the UK.

The story so far:

January 2020: As Brexit looms, we lead the charge on trade and standards asks

The NFU mobilised a huge coalition of farming, environmental, animal welfare and public health organisations to write a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ask that high British food standards are protected in future trade deals.

February 2020: Our petition gets underway

A month later we launched our petition, calling on the UK Government to put laws in place that prevent imports of food that is produced in ways that are illegal in the UK.

May 2020: National conversation sparks petition momentum

When a national conversation on food standards took place in the press and on social media, we used this opportunity to push the petition and saw the number of signatures increase to 50,000.

May 2020: The power of celebrity

Chef and campaigner Jamie Oliver wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister in the Mail on Sunday as part of the newspaper's 'Save Our Family Farms' campaign, asking him to prevent 'opening the floodgates to a whole raft of low-quality food that would normally be illegal in the UK'.  A video he posted on Facebook sparked an overwhelming response from the British public. Delia Smith followed suit a few days later, urging her fans to sign our petition and bolstering support for our campaign even further.

June 2020: Taking the extra step

We invited those people who took the time to sign our petition, to email their MP. 78,000 people took this action and called on their MP for the establishment of a Trade, Food and Farming Standards commission.

June 2020: Our petition hits one million signatures

More than a million people pledged their support for our petition by 18 June. It is the clearest indication yet that the British public does not want to see food on their supermarket shelves, or in their restaurants and cafes, that falls below the standards British farmers adhere to.

June 2020: You have your say

With more than half a million Back British Farming campaign supporters, here's what people are telling us about the future of British food and farming. Join in the conversation.

June 2020: Government answers our calls for a Commission

The UK Government answers our calls for a Trade, Food and Farming Standards Commission to advise on the best ways to maintain high food production standards in any future trade deals. See what Secretary of State for International Trade Liz Truss said about what the Commission will do.

September 2020:

Jamie Oliver launches a new campaign which highlights how trade deals that are currently being negotiated will impact on the food on our plates for years to come. He's joined by Joe Wicks, Anita Rani and a host of well-known faces. Take a look.

1 November 2020:

After extensive campaigning by the NFU, the government agreed to put in law a system that means each new free trade deal will be scrutinised by parliament for its impact on animal welfare and British farming before it’s ratified. This is why an official Trade and Agriculture Commission is a victory for British farming and the future of food on our plates.

Stay up to date with our food standards campaign by subscribing to our monthly Back British Farming newsletter.

Plus, you'll find lots of ways you can back British farmers, get news from our army of food producers and a whole host of seasonal recipes. 

Sign up here

Ask us a question about this page

Once you have submitted your query someone from the team will contact you. If needed, your query will then be passed to the appropriate Customer Service team.

You have 0 characters remaining.

By completing the form with your details on this page, you are agreeing to have this information sent to the NFU for the purposes of contacting you regarding your enquiry. Please take time to read the NFU’s Privacy Policy if you require further information.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.