The NFU has said yesterday’s (May 16, 2023) Farm to Fork summit provided a positive outlook for UK food security and showed the government’s commitment to UK farming.
The first of its kind, the summit drew together members from across the supply chain to discuss measures needed to strengthen productivity and build resilience within the sector.
The NFU have been pushing for the event for the past year and campaigning has included communicating with the candidates for Conservative party leadership calling for food security to be taken seriously; holding hustings events where the Prime Minister committed to holding a summit if he was elected; securing the recruitment of eight agri-food attachés overseas and convening an emergency press conference calling for fairness for farmers and growers.
NFU President, Minette Batters, said: “I am absolutely delighted that the Prime Minister has delivered on the commitment he made to NFU members last year to host this summit. The number of Cabinet Ministers present shows the ambition for cross-departmental coordination to deliver measures to boost home-grown food production. Many of the farmers and growers I represent will be relieved to see UK food security being taken seriously by the government.
“The announcements made today show a recognition and an understanding of the strategic importance of British food and farming to the nation. And the actions recognise the importance of coordinated action across government to support confidence, investment and growth in British food.
“What we need now is to build on these announcements. We are calling for a set of core agri-food import standards for trade. Whilst it is pleasing government is looking to maintain self-sufficiency at 60%, we believe there’s an opportunity to produce much more of our own food here. We can and should be more ambitious and look to move beyond this target. Vitally, the Farm to Fork Summit should become an annual event, as our food supply is part of the UK’s national infrastructure and will ensure that food security never drops down the political agenda, across all parties, again.”