More than 15,000 people have signed an NFU petition urging the Government to commit in law to introducing a ban under future trade deals on food imports that would be illegal for British farmers to produce.
The petition, which you can sign here, was launched at the NFU Conference in February and will continue to run over the coming weeks, as the UK kicks off trade negotiations with the EU and US.
NFU President Minette Batters said: “This is yet another clear signal that the public do not want to see food on their plates that has been produced far below the high standards they expect of British farmers.
“In such a short amount of time, thousands of people have demonstrated their support for government legislating that our high standards of animal welfare, environmental protection and food safety will not be compromised by imports.
“We have the opportunity now to promote our sustainable, climate-friendly food across the world and I am eager to work with government to achieve this ambition.
“I would urge anyone who shares these values to sign this petition and send a simple message to government that they want all food eaten in the UK, whether it is in our homes, schools, hospitals, restaurants or shops, to match the high standards expected of our farmers.”
Yesterday, the NFU announced that, due to concerns over coronavirus, it was postponing its London rally on March 25, which would have highlighted the issue. But Mrs Batters stressed that the campaign on food standards ‘continues apace’.
The petition states:
I want the food I eat to be produced to world leading standards.
Our Government should ensure that all food eaten in the UK – whether in our homes, schools, hospitals, restaurants or from shops – is produced in a way that matches the high standards of production expected of UK farmers.
I believe the UK Government should seize the opportunities of ‘Global Britain’ to promote sustainable models of production and consumption across the world.
Farming throughout the UK has high standards of safety and welfare and is produced with an ambition to be net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. There are very strict controls on farming methods allowed in the UK and I expect the same of all food which is imported here so the food I eat is as safe, traceable and produced to high welfare and environmental standards.
Before the UK begins to negotiate trade deals with countries around the world, I call on the UK Government to put into law rules that prevent food being imported to the UK which is produced in ways that would be illegal here.