Prime Minister and NFU President visit Derbyshire farm

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited saw first-hand the world-leading standards British farmers adhere to when he visited Stuart and Leanne Fairfax, livestock farmers in the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire.

Mr Johnson, alongside NFU President Minette Batters, visited the farm which predominantly houses sheep, with some cattle, with over 200 acres entered into an agri-environment scheme.

Stuart Fairfax said it was ‘quite surreal; to have the Prime Minister visit, but that it was ‘great for him to get on farm and see what we do’ during the busy lambing season.

“We’re pleased that we could show him how farming and food production works hand-in-hand with our work for the environment, particularly as part of the iconic landscape in the Peak District,” said Mr Fairfax.

Mr Fairfax also said it was ‘important to talk to him’ about the uncertainty many farmers are currently facing as he full details of what will take over from the Basic Payment Scheme payments that many farmers rely on are currently unknown.

NFU President Minette Batters, who joined them on the visit, said the Fairfax’s were a fantastic example of a family farm who are ‘working hard to produce the safe, traceable and nutritious food that the nation values so much.’

Ms Batters also said that it was ‘great to discuss how we can build on the current Open Doors campaign’ and spoke to the Prime Minister about the potential for the government to match-fund the current £60 million farmer-led investment to drive exports, showcase global Britain and demonstrate that the UK is serious about food and farming exports.

“I did stress to the Prime Minister the importance of the government’s new agricultural policy supporting British food production and how investing in and levelling up rural Britain can deliver huge benefits for the rest of the nation, from jobs and wellbeing for the public, to exports and green growth,” said Ms Batters.

“However, I did raise my concerns about the current lack of information available to farmers about his government’s agricultural transition plan. Farming is a long-term business and farmers will be making decisions now for many years down the line.

“The ongoing uncertainty about how they will replace income under the Basic Payment Scheme is damaging business confidence, which remains negative. I urged the Prime Minister to provide more clarity on his future agricultural policy as soon as possible.”

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