NFU Vice President David Exwood kicked off the reception by outlining the vital need for a smooth and seamless transition to new support schemes that are open to all farmers and growers, less bureaucratic and ensure profitable long-term food-producing businesses.
Earlier that day, David attended a Liberal Democrat Business Day where representatives from various sectors discussed the most pressing policy challenges and the solutions needed. This included a debate on ‘How to move towards sustainable farming in the UK’ where David was able to draw attention to the fact farming and the environment go hand in hand.
At the NFU Farming Reception, we were delighted to welcome Leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Ed Davey MP who made the point that farmers understand their local environment better than anyone else. He said ultimately, farming is about producing food, and we can do that alongside caring for the environment.
We also heard from Liberal Democrat Defra Spokesperson Tim Farron MP who pledged that his party would put an extra £1bn into the Defra budget and highlighted that “the greenest thing any government can do is support farming.”
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Daisy Cooper MP also attended our reception to discuss the ways we can continue to Back British Farming alongside Helen Morgan MP (North Shropshire) and Sarah Dyke MP (Somerton and Frome).
This was an excellent opportunity to engage with prospective parliamentary candidates to let them know the NFU is here to help coordinate farm visits, meetings and roundtables to ensure those seeking election understand the key issues facing British food and farming.
We look forward to hosting events at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool and Conservative Party Conference in Manchester to maintain British food and farming’s place on the political agenda.