The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Farming officially announced it will be launching an inquiry on how farmers can contribute to the public good while continuing to ensure profitability in food production, at its Summer Reception in Parliament on Monday 25th June.
The Reception, hosted by APPG Chair Julian Sturdy MP, presented a valuable opportunity for APPG members to discuss key issues facing the sector, such as the importance of protecting UK agriculture, particularly after Brexit; maintaining high standards of food production in the UK; and giving the whole industry a strong voice in Parliament.
A range of cross-party MPs including Colin Clark, Alistair Carmichael, Ian Paisley, David Warburton and Mims Davies attended the event, alongside APPG members including: the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association, the National Office of Animal Health, the National Sheep Association, the National Trust and the British Poultry Council. All those in attendance welcomed the announcement of the inquiry, as too did third parties such as the Environment Agency.
The inquiry will be undertaken in the autumn, in concert with scrutiny of the Agriculture Bill, so giving the APPG members the opportunity to feed directly into future UK farming policy.
Speaking at the reception, APPG Chair Mr Sturdy said: “The British public believes in what we produce as farmers. They believe in the quality and they believe in the high standards. It’s absolutely crucial we maintain this and communicate this to the public.”
Mr Sturdy added that, going forward, the industry must be conscious about future trade deals, and stressed that different farming sectors must stick together in order for the industry to thrive.
Former MP for Stroud, Neil Carmichael, said:“The Farming APPG has already planned a formal inquiry to develop ideas for farming in a post-Brexit era. This will be conducted as the Agriculture Bill progresses through Parliament, providing members with opportunities to influence policy with evidence-based and properly tested responses to the debate about the balance between protecting the environment and producing quality food. This is a fantastic opportunity to ensure the challenges facing our industry are addressed.”