Calls to "back British farming" as Agriculture Bill is introduced at Westminster

Welsh Conservatives’ Shadow Rural Affairs Secretary, Andrew RT Davies, has described ‘Back British Farming Day’ as a “great opportunity to promote what is the backbone of life in Wales and across these Isles.”

 

Back British Farming Day takes place today (12th September) and comes as the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, introduces a landmark Agricultural Bill – the first in 70 years – into Parliament today with the aim of delivering a cleaner and healthier environment for future generations.

 

The Bill sets out how farmers and land managers will in future be paid for “public goods”, such as better air and water quality, improved soil health, higher animal welfare standards, public access to the countryside and measures to reduce flooding.

 

Commenting on ‘Back British Farming Day’, Andrew RT said:

 

“The importance of enhancing and improving our levels of food security across Britain cannot be underestimated and we need to do more.

 

“Back British Farming Day is a great opportunity to promote what is the backbone of life in Wales and across these Isles – and that’s farming.

 

“Farmers are the original friends of the earth and custodians of our environment. You simply cannot divorce agriculture, food production and the environment and that’s why it’s vital governments of all colours support this crucial industry.

 

“We produce some of the highest quality food in the world – but it’s imperative we do more to secure the long-term future of domestic agriculture and food production.”

 

And commenting on the introduction of the Agricultural Bill into Parliament today, he added:

 

“This is a hugely significant moment for British Agriculture, with the last act passed in this country all the way back in 1947 by Clement Attlee’s post-war government, which aimed to provide price stability, lower food imports and increase agricultural productivity.

 

“Since we joined the EU in 1973, much of our farming policy has been written in Brussels, so the Agriculture Bill will provide the first opportunity in decades to rid ourselves of outdated EU rules and bureaucracy, and rethink the aims and basic building blocks of agricultural policy from a solely UK perspective.

 

“So far the Bill introduced by Michael Gove contains some exciting elements – particularly around payments and encouraging the next generation of farmers – but it’s important we now see progress in relation to UK-wide frameworks for agri so we can establish a unity of purpose when it comes to producing food for our nation and protecting our environment.”

 

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