The NFU has launched a national campaign to highlight the importance of food and farming ahead of the General Election.
Great British Food Gets My Vote was launched at the NFU’s annual conference back in February, and urges politicians to Back British Farming in their manifesto, as well as asking the British public to continue buying British food and supporting British farming.
An NFU report launched at the conference revealed disturbing new figures relating to the UK’s self-sufficiency in food. It states that at current rates, just 53 per cent of the nation’s food needs will be produced from home farms in the next 25 years, with potential for serious implications for the British economy, food security and employment.
And this news comes at a time when the public is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of British food and farming. New YouGov figures show that 85 per cent of the population want to see supermarkets selling more food from British farms – an increase from 79 per cent in 2014.
As part of the campaign, the NFU took out adverts the national newspapers and farming publications to highlight the importance of British farming and food production to the country.Farmerswere also being encouraged to invite their local MP onto farm.
Around 250 NFU members are already displaying 3m x 1m banners (pictured below) with the campaign title Great British Food Gets My Vote. In addition to this, campaign window stickers have been distributed to 50,000 members in the March edition of the NFU member magazine British Farmer & Grower.
NFU President Meurig Raymond (pictured left) said: “With less than three months before the general election, British agriculture and the future of domestic food production must be recognised as a hugely important issue for Britain as politicians battle it out.
“Before the campaign has launched, we already have hundreds of our membership interested in playing an active part. Farmers on the ground are behind what we’re doing with this campaign, which shows the sheer importance of our lobbying.
NFU Deputy President Minette Batters (pictured centre) said: “It is so important that food and farming is recognised for the key role it plays, not only in producing food but in its contribution to the country’s economy, in creating jobs, as well as the rural landscape that attracts millions of tourists every year.
“We know people care about farming - you only have to look at the recent dairy crisis to see people really wanting to help solve the current crisis. People realise it takes years of commitment, on-going investment, time and care to rear good quality beef and dairy animals; plant, nurture and harvest crops; protect soils and manage land. This is a long-term business that needs long-term thinking from the next Government.”