Farming's messsage for politicians at Kent County Show

09 July 2024

David Exwood speaking at Kent County Show

NFU Deputy President David Exwood joined leading farmers at the annual Kent County Show in urging the new Government to recognise the importance of the county’s £400 million farming industry.

Mr Exwood attended Kent’s annual three-day showcase event for farming, agriculture and the countryside on Friday 5 July as a new Labour government was confirmed.

He spoke to leading industry figures at an agri-connect breakfast event, highlighting the need to engage with politicians to help ensure a positive future for farming in the county. He is pictured with Regional Board Chair Alan Clifton-Holt and Regional Director Zoe Leach.

Kent County Show 2024

Mr Exwood, who farms in West Sussex, said: “It has been a fantastic experience here at the Kent County Show, to meet our hard-working farming members and staff and to discuss the key farming issues in this county.

“It has been great also to meet members of the public and to hear so many positive comments from them about farmers and the great work they do.

“Having a new Labour government now presents us with many opportunities and we need MPs to fully understand the vital role that farming plays in this county and across Britain.“

Farming underpins the UK’s largest manufacturing sector – food and drink – which contributes more than £128 billion to the national economy and provides jobs for four million people.

Kent County Show 2024

NFU figures show that farming contributes £405.85 million to Kent’s economy and provides more than 13,250 jobs in the county.

Alan Clifton-Holt, who farms at Romney Marsh in Kent, said: “Farming plays a big role in this part of the country.

“Kent’s farmers create thousands of jobs and boost the local economy, deliver high quality, sustainable food, always working to the highest standards of animal welfare while protecting the countryside and supporting the environment.

“We now need the new government to work with the NFU to give confidence to the industry and stimulate growth, following a very challenging period for farmers.

“The government needs to ensure British farmers are not undercut by imported food, produced to lower standards, that would be illegal in this country and to work with retailers to deliver fairness in the supply chain.

 “Practical policies will help ensure farmers can deliver national food security and this is vitally important for the entire country.”  

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