The importance and value of British farming and food, to jobs and the regional economy was showcased in the House of Commons this week.
Seventeen MPs from across Cumbria, Lancashire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside joined the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) in Westminster on Wednesday (13 September) to celebrate British agriculture and horticulture.
British farmers grow and rear quality, assured, great tasting food and drink that has been produced to rigorous welfare and environmental standards.
In the North West they also provide nearly 33,136 jobs and put more than £684 million into the economy and communities.
Back British Farming Day highlighted the value of food and farming and the politicians pledged their support as Britain looks to leave the EU.
A pin badge, sourced from British businesses was worn by the MPs during Prime Minister’s Questions, as part of their commitment to agriculture and horticulture.
In addition, farming also supports the work of other industries, such as vets, solicitors, surveyors and feed merchants and farmers actively manage the landscape to benefit habitat and species.
David Hall, NFU North West regional director, said: “The contribution of food and farming to the region and wider country is extremely important.
“Our members and their businesses are vital to our cities, towns and rural communities and it is critical to have the support of MPs.
“We are feeding in our views ahead of Brexit and it is essential they back the industry and recognise the value of the British food and drink sector; this is worth around £112 billion and employs nearly four million people nationally.
“Across the North West, NFU members and their businesses, big and small, provide the ingredients for this national food success story as well as bolstering the countryside and the rural economy.
“For the future of the nation’s farming sector, the support of politicians is crucial to ensure that our industry receives the best deal possible after Brexit.
“The reception in Westminster and response from politicians made it clear that the NFU’s work, to spread the Back British Farming message, is paying off. We are now calling on Government to put words into action.”
For further details about the NFU’s Back British Farming campaign go to https://www.nfuonline.com/back-british-farming/
The North West MPs who attended were: Mike Amesbury (Labour) Weaver Vale; Fiona Bruce (Conservative) Congleton; Rosie Cooper (Labour) West Lancashire; Maria Eagle (Labour) Garston and Halewood; Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat) Westmorland and Lonsdale; Sue Hayman (Labour) Workington; Graham Jones (Labour) Hyndburn; Seema Kennedy (Conservative) South Ribble; Tony Lloyd (Labour) Rochdale; Justin Madders (Labour) Ellesmere Port and Neston; Chris Matheson (Labour) City of Chester; Liz McInnes (Labour) Heywood and Middleton; Esther McVey (Conservative)Tatton; David Rutley (Conservative) Macclesfield; Antoinette Sandbach (Conservative) Eddisbury; Cat Smith (Labour) Lancaster and Fleetwood and John Stevenson (Conservative) Carlisle.