NFU welcomes Wiltshire Council move to support county’s farmers

29 February 2024

Wiltshire farming scene

A move from Wiltshire County Council to support farmers and growers and buy more county produce has been welcomed by the NFU, which is urging others to follow suit.

Wiltshire County Council agreed to pass a proposed motion to support the county’s farmers by ensuring all catering at council-organised events is, where possible, sourced from local suppliers, including meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables.

In addition, the council will commit to further enhancing its partnerships alongside the county’s arable, livestock and dairy farmers and encouraging Wiltshire residents to shop locally.

The motion was widely supported, with 94 councillors voting in favour, no councillors voting in opposition and three councillors abstaining from the vote.

‘We have their back’

Tom Collins, chairman of the Wiltshire branch of the NFU, said: “We – the county’s farmers and growers – are delighted to have the support of Wiltshire County Council.

“I think it is encouraging to see the vital role that farmers and growers play in the county and the importance of eating a balanced diet recognised in this way.

“We would now like to see other public and private organisations following this example and for the public to support local and British farmers by continuing to buy great local produce.”

I think it is encouraging to see the vital role that farmers and growers play in the county and the importance of eating a balanced diet recognised in this way.”

NFU Wiltshire chair Tom Collins

Councillor Nabil Najjar, who put forward the motion alongside councillor Elizabeth Threlfall, said: “I brought this motion to the Council as a way of showing our support for our dedicated farming community at a time when many feel frustrated.

“Wiltshire has some fantastic local produce which we should be celebrating, and our excellent farmers, growers and land managers need to know that, as a Council, we have their back.

“It is disappointing to see that other councils have sought to peddle anti-livestock rhetoric when voting to ban meat and dairy at their events, and this motion, which includes livestock, dairy, and arable farming, sets out a strong stance in support of all our farmers and our commitment to high-quality produce and strong welfare standards.”

NFU Wiltshire county adviser Kate Davies echoed this sentiment.

She said: “farms are key drivers of the economy in our county”, adding that this “is something we should all be very proud of and something we should remind our politicians of as we head towards a general election”. 

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