MPs get a taste of new agri-food campaign

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Pride & Provenance – an ambitious campaign to promote the strength and value of the agri-food sector in Yorkshire – will be launched by the NFU in the North East on the opening day of the Great Yorkshire Show.

For the launch, NFU Deputy President, Minette Batters, will use her first visit to the Show to announce that the campaign has already won the support of 57 companies that collectively generate more than £2.5 billion in turnover and employ 23,000 people.

With Brexit uncertainty still dominating the headlines and MPs charged with making key decisions that will directly affect the future of all farming, food and drink businesses, Regional Director for the NFU, Adam Bedford, says now more than ever, the wider agri-food sector needs to pull together.

“At a time of economic and political uncertainty, it is more important than ever to highlight the intertwined nature of the agri-food chain and its social, economic and environmental value,” he said. “It is now time for everyone in the chain to work together.

“We need to make sure that MPs understand how important our industry is, what we already contribute and how much more we could do if we get the Brexit process right.

“Pride & Provenance is designed to help us achieve that and we have been delighted with the response we’ve had from companies across Yorkshire – everyone from farm businesses, food and fuel processors and manufacturers to brewers, machinery dealers, agricultural societies and agricultural colleges.”

As a passionate livestock producer and founder member of Ladies in Beef, Mrs Batters is well placed to launch the campaign that is designed to target both MPs and the general public.

“It is already off to an impressive start, with more companies coming on board all the time,” she said.

“We are talking about a hugely important sector for Yorkshire, but I know that locally there is the drive and enthusiasm to do even more. As a beef producer myself, I am particularly passionate about promoting what we do to the public and encouraging them to back British farming.

“Delivering some of the highest quality food in the world, local food producers should be our suppliers of choice, but to achieve that we need to shout even more about what we do. So I’m delighted to see this collaborative approach being embraced in Yorkshire.”

Speaking alongside Mrs Batters will be James Farrar, Chief Executive of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership. Mr Farrar will outline some of his ambitions for agri-food sector to ensure it continues to underpin a thriving local economy.

Also speaking will be Chris Aldersley, Chief Operating Officer for Cranswick Country Foods – one of Yorkshire’s real success stories as one of the country’s biggest pig producers and a leader in best practice in the poultry industry.

Known for their state-of-the-art production facilities and commitment to new product development, Mr Aldersley will give his take on the challenges and opportunities ahead and the commitment the company has to Yorkshire.

Once launched, the campaign will act as an umbrella for lobbying and promotional activity over the next two years, bringing farmers and other members of the supply chain together to work with MPs and talk about local food production with members of the public.

While different campaign partners have slightly different priorities when it comes to government ‘asks’ six broad themes have been identified:

  • Infrastructure improvements, including broadband and mobile coverage
  • Fair access to thriving domestic and export markets
  • The opportunity to employ a skilled and flexible workforce
  • A viable, sustainable future for farmers and growers
  • Farming and agri-food at the heart of a comprehensive Industrial Strategy

“The future prosperity of our local farming, food and drink businesses depends on us working together to grow, thrive and meet people’s expectations,” added Adam Bedford.

“This requires a progressive and resilient sector, a drive to champion all that’s great about our farming, food and environmental heritage and an ongoing commitment to value, protect and enhance our environment.

“We hope that this campaign will act to help us achieve this – not just in Yorkshire, but in time across the whole of the North East.”

Last edited on: 07:07:2017

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