Why have I seen MPs wearing a wheat pin badge?
Today [Wednesday 9 September] is #BackBritishFarming day and all MPs are being invited to show their support for British farming by wearing a wool and wheatsheaf pin badge in the Palace of Westminster. They are also posting photographs of the badge saying what farming means to them on Twitter using #BackBritishFarming.
What is Back British Farming Day?
Now in its fifth year, the day celebrates British farming values and highlights its importance to the UK economy. We will be reminding politicians that British food and farming contributes over £120 billion to the UK economy each year and employs four million people.
This year it gives farmers an opportunity to promote British farmers’ commitment to high production standards, building on the success of the NFU's food standards campaign which has been backed by over a million people.
This autumn will be a critical time for British food and farming as the Agriculture Bill returns to the House of Commons to be passed into law and trade negotiations continue with countries across the world. There has never been a more important time to highlight the crucial role farmers play in feeding the nation and caring for the countryside.
The NFU has also published a new report that showcases the high standards British farmers produce to, and how they set themselves apart from the rest of the world.
What are the NFU’s asks?
With the Trade Bill being debated in the House of Lords this week, the NFU is calling for Peers to amend the Bill so that Parliament will be given the final say on whether to ratify new trade agreements. Currently, there is no requirement for Parliament to debate trade deals before they are signed into law and safeguards to allow MPs to reject such trade deals are limited.
The NFU also wants Parliament to be provided with independent advice about the impact every trade deal will have on our food and farming standards before it decides whether to accept or reject those trade deals. An amendment to the Agriculture Bill, put forward by Lord Curry in the House of Lords, would give this duty to the new Trade and Agriculture Commission, which was set up by the government in July. The Amendment is likely to be debated by the House of Lords next week, and the NFU is urging Peers to vote in its favour.