Bridgwater and West Somerset Labour candidate Wes Hinckes has travelled widely across the constituency during these last 4 weeks and is reaching out to communities that many candidates haven’t managed to reach out to before. This week he’s been talking to farmers.
Our country needs a food, farming and agriculture strategy for the 21st century.
We must develop a British Agricultural Policy that is matched to a long-term vision for the role of farming in the UK.
Farming connects us to the land and is the key to unlocking, delivering and nurturing our nation’s greatest assets; a healthy environment, healthy people, healthy communities, and a healthy relationship with nature.
The National Farmers Union believes that Brexit gives us an opportunity if we are prepared to take it. We must use this opportunity to create the conditions for a productive, resilient and sustainable agricultural sector.
Our future farming industry can meet the expectations of the British people by producing safe and affordable food, taking care of our environment and countryside, and creating local employment and careers.
Our rural communities and economy are reliant on farming’s survival.
The Conservatives have failed to provide a clear, ambitious or sustainable vision for the future of our farming, food and fishing industries.
Labour believes that our economy cannot succeed without a vision for our country and a national strategy to achieve it. We can see that this is exactly the kind of thinking and approach that farming needs right now.
To help create a sustainable future we must connect a British Agricultural Policy to our local economies, the needs of our nation to the needs of our communities.
We must recognize that the changing tastes of consumer’s will bring changes for farming and food production. Only forward thinking and support can reduce these risks and create opportunities for new produce, practices, and products.
Connecting our farmers, innovators, education and entrepreneurial young minds to funding through our National Investment Bank will provide the investment they need to take advantage of these opportunities. To transition to new practices, diversify and become resilient to change, compete on quality and provenance, and adapt to local food requirements and environmental realities.
Labour will establish a Science Innovation Fund working with farmers.
Investing in education, technology, science and research will ensure that Britain becomes a world leader and guarantee the success of British farming.
Farming and agriculture is the UK’s fastest growing area of study in British universities. We owe it to these young people to educate them in world leading farming techniques and practices and create the jobs and careers for them to fill.
Our government must ensure that British farming succeeds.
Labour will reconfigure funds for farming and fishing to support smaller traders, local economies, community benefits and sustainable practices.
Investing in our environment is investing in our nation’s future. We will defend and extend existing environmental protections. We will champion sustainable farming, food and fishing by investing in and promoting skills, technology, market access and innovation.
All these things together for m 21st century farming in a post-brexit world; a British Agriculture Policy, a national vision for farming, local economic strategy, education and innovation, investment and support, community need and connection, and environmental concern.
Labour understands that farmers already know this and we will give them every support that their sector deserves.
For Britain to thrive we need farming to succeed.