British horticulture calls on Conservatives to make good on election promise to support UK farming

Jack Ward, chief executive of British Growers Association, has called on the new Conservative government to step up and deliver on its manifesto pledge to set out a vision to “grow more, buy more and sell more British food.”

As the new all Conservative cabinet settles in, the agricultural and horticultural industries in the UK will be looking to continuing Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Liz Truss, to make good on the pledge which also promises to champion British farmers and British food during this Parliament.

Mr Ward said: “The Conservative manifesto was very clear in its vision to support the UK agriculture industry as part of a long term vision to increase sales of British produced food. With Liz Truss remaining in her role at Defra we’re expecting to see these priorities progress quickly now the cabinet has settled in.”

The manifesto sets out a commitment to promoting British produce abroad with the creation of a Great British Food Unit and at home with support for legislation around country of origin labelling.

Mr Ward continued: “For British Growers Association, one of our priorities for 2015 and beyond is to raise the profile of British horticulture. It is reassuring to see that the Conservative manifesto also recognises this as a key issue but it is essential that these promises translate into genuine support for British food production.

“Pledges to support a science led approach to GM crops and pesticides and to reform the EU Common Agriculture Policy which will provide comfort and clarity to growers struggling to maintain efficiency in light of stringent regulations on production.”

Pointing to the manifesto’s promise to “champion the Grocery Code Adjudicator to ensure farmers receive a fair deal from supermarkets”, Mr Ward added: “the GCA has an important role to play in giving growers a fairer deal > and we are keen to see this progressed over the next few years under an all Conservative leadership.”

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