Merseyside politicians take to the countryside

11 August 2023

Politcians gathered on a farm holding signs saying 'I'm backing Farming's Northern Powerhouse'

Photograph: NFU member Olly Harrison's farm. Special guests include the Mayor of Liverpool Steve Rotherham, Leader of Liverpool Council Cllr Liam Robinson and Leader of Knowsley Council Cllr Graham Stuart

The NFU connected the city and countryside when North West member Olly Harrison and fellow farmers hosted the Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, and other key stakeholders on farm.

The event, in Prescot, brought together the Mayor, local councillors and city-based stakeholders to bridge the gap between urban and rural areas and kick off the harvest celebrating the region’s dynamic food and drink industry.

The visit was part of efforts to increase the engagement with rural issues from urban politicians and those in their constituencies, as now more than ever people want to understand more about where their food comes from.

Politicians see value of farmers first-hand

NFU North West Regional Director David Hall said: “It was great to engage with so many councillors and city-based stakeholders out on farm with members from all different farming sectors to see first-hand the many benefits our Merseyside farmers from the food, drink and farming industry can deliver for the good of us all.

“Our members and their businesses, big and small, are vital to our cities and towns, playing a key role in the production of food and farming.

“It is critical to have the support of key stakeholders, so they understand the challenges facing farmers.”

Our members and their businesses, big and small, are vital to our cities and towns, playing a key role in the production of food and farming.

NFU North West Regional Director David Hall

Agriculture in the North West contributes £726 million to our economy with 15% of the UK’s food production industry based in the region. Merseyside farmers play a key role producing everything from high quality beef, lamb and dairy to nutritious fruit and vegetables, to a wide range of crops like wheat and barley.

Liverpool Mayor pledges support for farmers

There were productive conversations about how the NFU can work with Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, to continue developing relationships with urban MPs and political figures, to highlight the importance of food production and its contribution to the economy.

Mayor Rotheram, said: “While our region’s brand might be built around a port city, we are also home to an abundance of stunning countryside on our doorstep too. In fact, almost half of our land is agricultural – contributing an estimated £50m to our region’s economy ever year.

“Our farmers deserve more recognition than they currently get for the tireless work they do to ensure we have food on the table for our families. It’s a small but vital sector – and one that I’m committed to supporting so that it can continue to grow and thrive in the years ahead.”

The need for a better public understanding of where food comes from and the career opportunities within agriculture were prominent topics and the current labour shortages in farming sectors like horticulture.


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