Farming Minister meets with Sussex farmers

08 September 2023

Farming Minister Mark Spencer speaking at the Sussex farm to fork summit

Some of the key challenges and opportunities in farming were raised by NFU members during a meeting with the Farming Minister in Sussex.

Organised by Andrew Griffith, Conservative MP for Arundel and South Downs there were more than 50 people in attendance at the event hosted by Brinsbury College.

Farming Minister Mark Spencer MP attended the one-off event called the Farm to Fork Summit, which gave local farmers in Sussex the chance to have their say and hear from the minister.

Putting the key issues direct to MPs


Photograph: Farming Minister Mark Spencer with Andrew Griffith MP

During the visit, farmers highlighted the key issues they're facing including problems over securing planning permission in national parks, livestock worrying, and frustration over changes to the SFI (Sustainable Farming Incentive) for land containing historic and archaeological features.

Growing support for supermarkets to include a 'Buy British' tab on their websites was also discussed.

See: British at a click? MPs sign letter backing buy British online option

NFU council delegate for West Sussex Caroline Harriott said the meeting was a “good opportunity to follow up discussions with Secretary of State Thérèse Coffey” who had previously been in the region earlier in August for a farm visit. “We were told the issues we raised over SHINE (Selected Heritage Inventory for Natural England) were being looked at.”

“It is important to take these opportunities to have our voices heard,” Caroline added.

Harriet Henrick, NFU county adviser for Surrey and East and West Sussex agreed it was a very good meeting: “A lot of issues were covered from both members and the minister.

“It was a great example of an MP engaging with us and understanding the concerns of his farming constituents and I would encourage other MPs to work with us to set up similar events elsewhere.”

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