Farm to Fork Summit: NFU statement

14 May 2024

The Prime Minister hosts the Farm to Fork Summit

After joining the Prime Minster at today’s Farm to Fork Summit at Number 10, NFU President Tom Bradshaw has welcomed announcements made, particularly looking at long-term strategic plans around food security, horticulture, investment and growth for the sector.

But after the NFU revealed a crisis of confidence among farmers and growers in its confidence survey last week, which showed farmer confidence at a record low following the wettest winter on record, Mr Bradshaw stressed the need for immediate support to help the sector and rebuild much-needed confidence and resilience.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hosted today’s summit at 10 Downing Street. The NFU called for the food summit in the run up to the Conservative leadership election in 2022, with the first being held at Downing Street in 2023. The NFU also called for it to be an annual event and for the publication of an annual Food Security Index, with this second summit attended by almost a hundred representatives from food and farming organisations, as well as members of Cabinet and departments across Whitehall.

At the summit, a series of announcements were made by the government including:

  • A new blueprint to increase domestic production in the UK horticulture sector


  • The publication of the Food Security Index setting out key data and trends


  • Further support for farmers and growers affected by wet weather

NFU President Tom Bradshaw said: “It was good to return to Number 10 today to see and hear the Prime Minister champion British food production, putting it at the top of the national political agenda. Food security is national security.

“Many of today’s announcements are extremely welcome, particularly those long-term strategic ambitions around the launch of a UK Food Security Index and measures to boost the production of more British fruit and vegetables.

“We are pleased that the government has taken on board our calls for a bigger and more accessible replacement for the EU Fruit and Veg Aid Scheme, and a commitment to legislate to improve contractual relationships.

“But we cannot forget that our members have experienced the wettest eighteen months since 1836, including devastating flooding, and many are facing an acute short-term crisis.

“The NFU’s recent confidence survey revealed just how tough it is out there currently – the reality is that some farmers and growers believe they may not survive long enough to benefit from today’s announcements.

“That’s why, while we are pleased to see the Prime Minister and Defra saying UK food security is vital to our national security, we need actions in the short-term that underpin that statement, in order to rebuild confidence and resilience so farming businesses can continue producing food.

“We will continue to engage with ministers on the detail needed for the immediate relief our farm businesses require and believe that core standards for food imports also need to be part of the long-term offer.”