Countryside Online

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Speak up for farmers

Speak up for farmers

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SPEAK UP FOR FARMING

This is a once in a generation chance to ensure farming’s voice is heard when it matters – as the UK government shapes our future agriculture policy. The decisions made today will impact food and farming for years to come.

You only have until 8 May 2018 to let the government know your views.

Farmers are proud to produce safe, quality food at a price affordable for everyone.

British farming has world leading standards in animal welfare and environmental protection. Our farmers are proud of these standards with farming managing more than 70 per cent of the nation’s most treasured landscapes.

British food and farming contributes £112 billion pounds to the national economy and supports jobs for more than 3.8 million people.

Here are three questions you might like to answer in your response:

  • Why do you think it is so important to have successful farming businesses that focus on producing home grown food?
  • Why do you think the UK needs to have a secure supply of British food post Brexit?
  • What else should government do to ensure British food and farming prospers after Brexit?

Further ideas:

  • Ensure any changes arising as a result of Brexit do not affect our ability to produce home grown food at a price that is affordable for all.
  • Ensure there is a trade deal that ensures British farming can compete on a level playing field.
  • Ensure any food imported into the UK adheres to the same exacting standards as UK farming and food producing businesses.
  • Ensure a trade deal that sees free and frictionless trade for the UK with its nearest neighbours in Europe. 
  • Ensure farming has the flexibility to recruit a competent and reliable workforce.
  • Ensure any changes arising from Brexit that will impact on farming and British food production are worked on in partnership with the food and farming sector and that farming businesses are given the time and the right tools to manage and enable successful change.

Here's how to have your say:

Email the government and tell them why British food is so important to you. 

WIN A GREAT BRITISH HAMPER

For your chance to win a hamper packed full of great British produce, all you need to do is let us know if you have responded to the government consultation paper, and tell us why you think British farming is more important than ever. 

Enter now!

British Hamper

What others have said:

Command paper quotes_52837

Did you know? 

  • Food and farming provides 3.8 million jobs across the country
  • The food and farming industry contributes £112 billion to the country's economy
  • Agriculture accounts for over 70% of land use in the UK


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Have your say on this

Your comment will be checked by our moderation team and may be used in other NFU publications. Commenting guidelines

  • Posted by: Arthur LampkinPosted on: 18/03/2018 13:07:42

    Comment: Would love to have more British produce in the shops at more affordable prices. Once we leave the EU in March then by then the Farmers should be producing more and more so we do not need to import produce unless it can’t be grown here. How about more farmers markets in our towns, villages and cities only selling British produce. Let’s get back to the basics.
  • Posted by: TBKPosted on: 18/03/2018 13:19:07

    Comment: I want to eat British food because I know that I can trust our farmers and our welfare standards. I want to eat seasonal food grown locally. I prefer to eat organically. I want to support British agriculture - the biggest employer in this country, and I want to see British food stocked in supermarkets. Back Britsh Farming, and Back Britain.
  • Posted by: Pamela PowellPosted on: 18/03/2018 17:51:43

    Comment: Don't forget the small family farm, they need to survive, these farmers care about the countryside, the animals
  • Posted by: Bryan K Edgley MBE FRSA (NFU South Bucks & MiddlePosted on: 18/03/2018 22:30:27

    Comment: Neil Parrish MP understands farmers and the farming industry. I think it excellent that Minette Batters is leading the NFU from the stance that food is important, and that the main object of farmers is to grow and produce that food. If farmers are solvent, then they can continue to look after and care for the environment as a free-of-charge by-product of cultivating the fields for food production, or of managing grassland for production from livestock.
    This is the basic concept of caring for the environment which the Minister for Defra appears not to have recognised. It has taken a question from Neil Parrish to the Prime Minister for this Parliamentary statement to be made that the provision of British food is important to the nation as a public benefit.
    Farmers selling wholesale, rather than in farm shops, have to sell their produce into a broken world market place for food - and Government will have to take appropriate steps to ensure that farmers are able to sell wholesale farm produce at above production cost.
    The alternative is a return of farmland to 'dog and stick' farming, similar to that adopted by those farmers who remained solvent after the Repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846 until German U-Boats had sunk so many merchant ships which were bringing food to Britain in World War I, particularly in 1917, that near starvation was a real threat to the British people. British farming was then brought back into full production to prevent starvation in the UK.
    The Agriculture Act 1947 was passed so that the farming policy now being suggested by the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP should never happen again in future years. NFU has the task of ensuring that this post-Bexi
  • Posted by: Jeanette DackinsPosted on: 19/03/2018 01:54:50

    Comment: I always try to buy British food whenever I can. Why buy carrots, swedes, etc from abroad when they are grown in this country,which means that they are fresher, tastier and better for the environment as they're not flown in by aeroplane. Also it keeps the farmers in work and the farms from being sold
  • Posted by: sharon thackrayPosted on: 19/03/2018 08:03:45

    Comment: We need to be self-sufficient in our food production - and import those items we can't grow or produce in the UK (pineapples, bananas...). We want great tasting, safe, ethically and locally produced food - and to do that we need to make sure that our farmers have the chance to do that. I don't mind paying a bit more for this - it keeps UK people in employment and supports our local communities.
  • Posted by: Jennie ThompsonPosted on: 19/03/2018 08:21:35

    Comment: Many people love to eat British lamb but find it too expensive. It is also impossible to buy mutton.
  • Posted by: Bridie BonelloPosted on: 19/03/2018 12:32:52

    Comment: I believe very strongly that British Farming should continue to be at the centre of our food production. We do not want our meat imported from America where the standards of husbandry etc are well below those of our own. We very much need to encourage our farmers to continue to produce the high standard of food that they do already. We Need British Farms and Farmers , they are the backbone of our Food production and need to be protected and encouraged, especially with the onset of Brexit.
  • Posted by: AnnPosted on: 19/03/2018 19:15:19

    Comment: Of course cost is a real problem to a lot of people. Cheaper food can often be found BUT what are the CONDITIONS this cheaper food (usually imported) has been reared/grown in? it all so depends on one's pocket, one's choices, and one's principles!
    Mutton comes from more mature sheep - it is therefore going to be much more expensive as the farmer has had to keep (and therefore feed) the animal so much longer.
  • Posted by: Ruth LoeblPosted on: 14/04/2018 22:46:44

    Comment: It makes sense to me to buy British food produced as locally as possible because it is traceable and makes sense in terms of food miles and general sustainability. I believe in buying British
  • Posted by: Maggie LewisPosted on: 26/03/2018 15:56:58

    Comment: I’m a great believer in British produce and I like to know where my food comes from. Our farmers a fantastic and need all the help they can get.
  • Posted by: Brian HuntPosted on: 28/03/2018 14:30:33

    Comment: We need to ensure British Farmers have a future to produce welfare friendly food that is home grown and local. This as to be a future for small family farms not big conglomerates who are only interested in profit. We should also treasure our Rare Breeds as a valuable genetic resource for the future.
  • Posted by: Christine mellorPosted on: 31/03/2018 11:39:49

    Comment: I wholey support British agriculture and its contribution to providing the country with traceable good quality seasonal food. I want food where I know where it comes from and the welfare standards that are directed by our government. Farming manages the countryside for us and ecologically and sustainably maintances our land. I will vote according to the government of the day's policy on agriculture.
  • Posted by: Rosalind BartlettPosted on: 31/03/2018 13:44:36

    Comment: The British farmers need full support from our government. The politicians must realise that they not only give us top quality food with no polluting airmiles, but also maintain the sublime countryside in a way no other group or force could. Their invaluable knowledge & close relationship with the land is what has created the beautiful rural Britain which not only native Britains enjoy but also our hundreds of thousand foreign visitors.
    Value & support our farmers they are essential to Britain.
  • Posted by: Anita GoddardPosted on: 31/03/2018 15:54:11

    Comment: All that is right and good can be seen in naturally maintained English countryside. You are famous for starting public education and health care and your natural, healthy countryside. Please know the greater value and take care of your land. Thank you.
    Thank you.
  • Posted by: Joanna BaughanPosted on: 31/03/2018 16:56:47

    Comment: Please ensure that our British farmers are given the consideration they deserve in Bexit negioations. I do not want our farmers’ produce to be undercut by cheaper food from abroad from dubious production systems. I trust British food and believe that UK farmers deserve a decent standard of living.
  • Posted by: Chris LanePosted on: 31/03/2018 17:10:15

    Comment: British farmers are unsung heroes who care for our countryside and produce 60% of our food. Speak up for our farmers
  • Posted by: DamoPosted on: 31/03/2018 17:13:55

    Comment: I think everyone with a garden or fertile land should take up growing. You save money maybe even make an honest buck and it does wonders for your well being.
  • Posted by: Mrs Maureen BrattPosted on: 31/03/2018 21:35:02

    Comment: Always buy British when I can as I believe our farmers do a difficult job without a lot of support from government,
  • Posted by: Janet HerringPosted on: 01/04/2018 11:39:56

    Comment: Our farmers not only are great stewards of our countryside but passionate about animal welfare and quality products. The British public have confidence in our British farmers and their dedication to exemplary welfare standards. NO to substandard, mass produced, chlorinated, and poor quality products.
  • Posted by: Mr & Mrs Harris Posted on: 01/04/2018 15:27:50

    Comment: For our island to be resilient, self sufficiency is the foundation and our farming future needs support from the government to ensure it continues. We are a green and pleasant land and our farmers can do this above and beyond their call of duty, which we are so proud of....without them we have nothing.
  • Posted by: Sonya BushellPosted on: 03/04/2018 22:46:33

    Comment: Encourage high-animal welfare, better support for farmers' mental health, environmental subsidies and self-suficiency
  • Posted by: Anthony MasonPosted on: 05/04/2018 13:00:14

    Comment: People in Britain, whether they voted to leave or remain, value three farmers and care for their animals. Post Brexit it is vital we keep the level of animal welfare high and do not weakly give in to chlorinated chicken and beef pumped full of antibiotics (which we are repeatedly informed make us immune to their beneficial effects if we have ingested them too much.) Keep standards high.
  • Posted by: David TaylorPosted on: 05/04/2018 15:37:20

    Comment: British Farming produces high quality food, looks after much of the environment and has very good standards of animal welfare. We want that to continue.
  • Posted by: Kerry RobinsonPosted on: 10/04/2018 21:26:44

    Comment: Please support british farmers when making decisions about our country going forward
  • Posted by: Pat GrimwoodPosted on: 11/04/2018 13:54:17

    Comment: Farmers here work long hours in all weathers all year round to give us the very best produce from milk meat dairy foods. Vegetables etc at a high standard not a job a lot of young people would do living in Devon local produce is brilliant the best

  • Posted by: Julia BellPosted on: 11/04/2018 17:37:02

    Comment: Farmers in UK need our support; the industry supports millions of jobs and billions to our economy. Stop our farmland being sold off to greedy developers and enable our farmers to earn a decent living, provide food for Britain instead of importing foodstuffs that can be produced in this country. Farmers look after our countryside with correct incentives and our animal welfare standards must be maintained not threatened by inferior products.
  • Posted by: Philip NightingalePosted on: 15/04/2018 18:46:02

    Comment: Being able to produce enough good quality food to meet the needs of our population should be a strategic requirement for the Government. Housing developments, new roads and railway lines have reduced the amount of farmland in the UK and it is now time to call a halt to greenfield developments and only allow building on brownfield sites.
  • Posted by: Sadie ChampionPosted on: 17/04/2018 21:08:23

    Comment: British farming is under greater scrutiny than ever before, from many different directions. We are extremely lucky in this country to have the huge diversity in UK farming, from the smallholder with a few hens to highly efficient dairy farms with hundreds of cows. The British countryside is a credit to UK agriculture, and long may it remain so. Sadly, there are those who do not wish livestock farming well, and go to great lengths fabricating emotive propaganda material to distribute across social media showing the shocking treatment of farm livestock. I have spent a great deal of time engaging with these people, some will not listen, whilst others are shocked and horrified at how untrue the footage is. Whilst there are always exceptions to the rule, on the whole British livestock farmers are world leaders in animal health and welfare. Red Tractor and Freedom Foods both serve to increase public confidence in the food and farming industry, and set the benchmark for minimum standards expected of producers. It is important to keep the diversity in British agriculture, and not make the mistake of going for a huge efficiency drive where only the larger units can thrive. Things will be challenging post Brexit, but with our current diversity and standards we can be a shining star on a world stage.
  • Posted by: Robert martinPosted on: 18/04/2018 07:53:18

    Comment: British farmers have the highest and best welfare in the world . Let's cut down on foreign imports that we don't know how it's raised or killed. Let's also go back to seasonall veg
  • Posted by: L TaylorPosted on: 18/04/2018 18:21:42

    Comment: I like our British farmers and what they produce, so I back them 100%.
  • Posted by: Frances MasonPosted on: 20/04/2018 21:21:43

    Comment: I only eat British meat and buy as much British produced food as possible. We must support our farmers who have higher welfare standards than many other countries. After Brexit we don't want chlorine washed chicken, intensively reared meat from feedlots or cheap chicken from the far east, we want British Food
  • Posted by: Richard CleaverPosted on: 22/04/2018 13:42:54

    Comment: I care passionately about the British Farming Sector, and the high quality standards we have & the price stability we enjoy thanks to the EU. I don't want to see British farmers suffer due to cheap food imports after Brexit - and I'm sure you don't either. It is therefore highly disingenuous of your campaign not to mention Brexit!
  • Posted by: peter harrisPosted on: 22/04/2018 13:42:55

    Comment: I believe that as consumers, we should all support British industry & manufacturing and of course, British farmers. We need to keep the money & expertise in this country, so that we provide jobs & security of supply and keep them in our own hands.
  • Posted by: Victoria CovePosted on: 22/04/2018 14:21:51

    Comment: On my current visit to Thanet there are many fields with cauliflowers left to to go to seed. Why is this when they’ve been so costly in the shops ?!
  • Posted by: patricia butcherPosted on: 22/04/2018 22:48:30

    Comment: British Farmers work so hard to produce first class food at affordable prices at the same time as trying to maintain the landscape we cherish with the challenges that we face . I have so much much respect for them.
  • Posted by: Diana PegrumPosted on: 22/04/2018 23:44:27

    Comment: British produce is the result of farmers who care about the quality of the goods they produce - often under difficult circumstances. They’re facing a very uncertain future and we need support from the British public and the British Government. No more valuable farming land should be built on or turned into leisure facilities.
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