Farming’s ‘Team Northumberland’, turned out in force at the Angel of the North to get behind the NFU’s Back British Farming charter.
Farmers representing livestock, arable, dairy and poultry producers across the county met at the iconic North East landmark to highlight the Charter and encourage as many people as possible to support it.
Launched in August after statistics showed the UK produces just 62 per cent of its own food, the charter calls on the public, politicians, retailers and the food industry to pull together and help Britain produce, source and consume more home-produced food.
It comes on the back of research showing that 78 per cent of consumers want to see more British produce on sale and as part of this self-sufficiency drive, the charter is now touring the country on a mobile campaign vehicle, starting at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on Monday 30 September.
It arrived in the North East yesterday, where its first stop was the Yorkshire HQ of Wm Morrison supermarkets. There Group Corporate Services Director Martyn Jones signed the charter on behalf of the retailer before the mobile campaign vehicle moved on to the Angel.
It was met by a group of Northumberland farmers keen to encourage as many people as possible to go online and add their name to the charter.
Commenting Northumberland County Chairman David Robson, who farms near Morpeth, said: “Our Back British Farming campaign highlights the fact that if all the food produced in Britain was stored and eaten from January 1st, supplies would run out on August 14.
“This is a stark statistic and something that as a nation we should be concerned about. We currently import more than £37 billion of food and drink – much of which we could produce ourselves – and as farmers we stand ready to rise to the challenge of feeding the nation.
“As an industry we have had a challenging decade but it’s becoming increasingly clear that our country cannot depend on a strategy that consists of going round the world chasing the cheapest deal for our food.
“Here at home we have a fantastic resource and ability to produce more food, and we know the public want to see more British produce in the shops. To rise to this challenge farmers need the right market signals to enable us to invest for the future. With this campaign we are looking to really galvanise support and get the government, retailers, food industry and the public all pulling together.
“Here in the North East people are rightly proud of our wealth of fantastic produce and regional specialities. I hope the public will take this opportunity to show their support and sign the charter.”
Sign the Back British Farming charter here.