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Mike Prendergast says Conservative Government is ‘sticking to the plan to back British farmers’ with measures to boost food security in West Lancashire.

  • Farming is the lifeblood of our rural communities, feeding the nation and stewarding our green and pleasant land. Our food and farming sectors bring over £120bn to the UK economy every year.
  • That is why Mike Prendergast has welcomed that the Conservative Government is publishing the first ever UK Food Security Index, setting out our Blueprint for Growing the UK Fruit and Vegetable Sector, and ensuring the sector has the labour it needs through the Shropshire Review, and ensuring fairness in the supply chain.
  • The Conservative Government is sticking to the plan to back British farmers in their primary role of growing food, investing in food security and growing resilient farming businesses to feed the nation for generations to come.
Mike Prendergast has welcomed the Conservative Government’s second annual food security summit and the launch of plans which will boost domestic food production and improve food security in West Lancashire.

The plan, which builds on the Conservative Government’s strong measures of support for British farmers, includes introducing the first ever UK Food Security Index, which will allow the government to monitor in year shocks across the UK and support the sector grow more food.

The Government has also responded to the Shropshire Review, ensuring that the domestic farming sector has the labour it needs, and the funding to support greater automation. This includes extending the seasonal visa route for five years and agreeing a taper for this period with industry, supporting the transition away from migrant workers with a planned £50 million package on packhouse automation funding.

The Conservative Government has also published the Blueprint for Growing the UK Fruit and Vegetable Sector – introducing plans that aim to build the resilience of the UK’s fresh produce sector to boost domestic production and reduce reliance on imports.

Further measures in the plan include cutting 60 pieces of redundant Retained EU Law red tape, and unlocking the opportunities of precision breeding with £15 million invested into Genetic Improvement Networks.

The Conservative Government is also supporting farmers to get a fair price for their products, by announcing the next steps in the supply chain reviews for eggs, fresh produce and pigs. In all three sectors the Government will introduce legislation to enhance fairness and transparency.

The Conservative Government is also providing grants of between £500 and £25,000 to farmers affected by exceptional flooding due to Storm Henk. It is also putting in place flexibility through temporary adjustments to agreements in Sustainable Farming Incentives (SFI) and Countryside Stewardship so

farmers who have been unable to carry out requirements do not miss out on income in the transition from the EU Basic Payment Scheme to SFI.

The Conservative Government is sticking to its plan to support British farmers, and boost domestic food production, ensuring domestic food security for generations to come. Labour would take us back to square one with the Welsh Labour government proposing to force all farmers to stop farming on up to 20 per cent of their land, which if replicated under Labour in England would force more than 20,000 farms out of business.

Mike Prendergast said:

“Farmers in West Lancashire work tirelessly every day of the year, and not only are they key to our local economy, they also make a massive contribution to the UK economy and to protecting our domestic food supply, making sure that we have food on our plates.

“I am therefore delighted that the Conservative Government has announced further plans to support British farmers, boost domestic food production, invest in food security and further improve farming resilience.

“The Conservative Government is sticking to the plan to back British farmers and ensure a strong domestic farming industry and food security for all across the UK.”

Minister for Food, Farming and Fisheries said:

“Supporting British farmers is a priority for this government. Farming is the lifeblood of our rural communities, and offers huge economic benefits to the whole of the UK. But, we need to go further in improving farming resilience, increasing food security, and boosting domestic food production.

“We are determined to continue supporting British farmers in this – and this plan will help ensure that farmers have the support they need to increase domestic production, and ensure a strong farming sector for generations to come.

“The long-term decisions we are taking will help ensure the future of British farming and of domestic food production and security.”