Rishi Sunak helps launch NFU food and farming campaign

Rishi Sunak MP hosted the Westminster launch of an NFU campaign to shout about the value of the food and farming industry to Yorkshire – its people, economy and environment. 

The campaign - "Pride and Provenance" - sees the industry come together in an unprecedented show of solidarity. 

Formally launched at this week's Great Yorkshire Show, the campaign has already won wide cross-sector support from farm businesses, food and fuel processors and manufacturers to brewers, machinery dealers, retailers, agricultural societies, and agricultural colleges. 

Together they want to demonstrate the value of Yorkshire’s farm-to-table supply chain, highlighting not just the fantastic food and drink produced, but also the huge contribution the sector makes to the economy, to the environment and its commitment to providing exciting opportunities for young people, and building a strong future for local communities. 

Mr Sunak welcomed NFU President Meurig Raymond to Westminster and introduced him to many Yorkshire MPs at the event in the House of Commons. 

Throughout the afternoon, the MPs met farmers and a delegation of food processors and manufacturers who were keen to highlight the need for the new government to recognise and value the industry and work to create an environment in which it can thrive. 

Speaking at the event, Mr Raymond said: “Farming is an industry that has the potential to make an important contribution to the nation – our economy, environment and of course our ability to produce our own high quality, traceable food.   

“It’s great to see farmers from Yorkshire and a great selection of local agri-food companies joining forces to meet their new MPs and highlight just what an exciting and vibrant industry we have.” 

Mr Sunak added: “Farming and farmers are the key to the rural economy in Yorkshire. If we don't have a sustainable farming sector, we don't have a sustainable market town economy and our countryside, which underpins the increasingly valuable tourism sector, is at risk too. 

"Also, high quality Yorkshire produce underpins the processing sector which is a major employer in the county." 

Mr Sunak said the NFU's campaign would be invaluable in helping to educate the consumer about the importance of buying food produced in the UK but particularly Yorkshire. 

"We have to demonstrate that every pound spent on Yorkshire produce is a pound that boosts the local economy on which we all depend," he added. 

Speaking afterwards NFU Regional Director, Adam Bedford, said: “Pride & Provenance is all about shouting from the rooftops about what our sector already provides and how we can do more in the future. 

Speaking on behalf of the North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), James Farrar said:  “World class food and farming is vital to the Yorkshire economy. These businesses are the heartbeat of our rural economy. Supporting them to grow and encouraging people to buy Yorkshire has never been more important as we negotiate our exit from the EU.”