Prime Minister's letter to farmers ahead of food summit

Rishi Sunak at the NFU hustings event

As Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hosted NFU President Minette Batters and other industry leaders at the Farm to Fork Summit at Downing Street, he sent an open letter to farmers outlining the government’s six principles to ensure British farming is at the heart of British trade.

The NFU has been calling on the government to back British farming and make a secure supply of home-grown food a political priority and there are a number of positive commitments in the PM’s letter.

Positive commitments

These include:

  • Protecting sensitive sectors, including through permanent quotas where deemed appropriate – this reflects the government’s approach with the CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership);
  • Protecting UK food standards under all existing and future free trade agreements – this means there will be no chlorine-washed chicken or hormone-treated beef in the UK market;
  • Prioritising new export opportunities for UK food and drink; and
  • Removing market access barriers to make it easier for food producers to enter new markets.

The letter also contains other positive news, including:

  • an increase in the number of UK agricultural attaches to help reach new markets – an NFU ‘win’ as we have been calling for this for some time;
  • the creation of a £1 million programme to support dairy exports; and
  • the promise of an additional £2 million to strengthen the UK’s presence at major trade shows.

Work continues

The NFU will continue to work to ensure that all new free trade agreements are properly scrutinised and the impacts on UK agriculture are regularly assessed once any new deals come into force.

We will also continue to highlight the importance of UK production standards and the need for imports to meet the same high environmental and animal welfare standards farmers and growers adhere to here, something the Prime Minister also alluded to in his letter.

Read the Prime Minister's letter in full here.


See our manifesto asks

Our manifesto

Our general election manifesto – Farming for Britain's Future – outlines our key asks of the next government to ensure farmers and growers can continue to deliver for the environment, economy and local communities while producing more of the great British food we all enjoy.

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