- President Minette Batters has called on the government to support British farming
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The President of the NFU is calling on the government to support British farming, after figures revealed that the UK’s self sufficiency is at 61%. Minette Batters said that Britain needs to be able to grow more home-grown food for a growing population, as had the country only eaten British-produced food since the 1st January 2019 supplies would have run out by 11th August.
Batters said, “When people buy British food they are buying into standards that protect and enhance our natural resources and iconic landscapes. They are buying into world-leading standards of animal welfare, and they are buying into the role farmers play in combating the climate change challenge which is facing us all. But there is a lot at stake. This autumn is critical to the future of British farming and with it our ability to feed ourselves.
“We need a clear pledge from government that it will not let our current self-sufficiency levels fall below today’s 61%. Our self-sufficiency has declined over recent years and our political leaders need to take this seriously. While we will never be completely self-sufficient as a country it is vital that Britain takes its role as a food producer for its growing population seriously and does not rely on the rest of the world – with wildly varying standards of production – to feed our population which is likely to grow to 73 million people in 20 years’ time.
“British farming is the backbone of the country’s largest manufacturing industry; food and drink. It contributes more than £120 billion to the UK economy and employs over four million people. In the next few weeks we will have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape our future. I hope today acts a wake-up call for all those in power to look at what can be gained and also what is at stake.”
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