Secretary of State hears Rugby farmers’ views on the future of farming

Local MP Mark Pawsey hosted the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Rt. Hon. Andrea Leadsom MP last week in Rugby, where she spoke to local members of the National Farmers Union about the future of the agricultural industry.

Andrea Leadsom, who was made Secretary of State following the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU last year, covered a range of topics during the meeting, including the importance of agriculture to the economy and her department’s plans to promote British produce in trade discussions. The Secretary of State also outlined some of her department’s goals for the forthcoming Brexit negotiations.

Speaking after the meeting, Mark said:

“Rugby is a rural constituency, with a large farming community and so I was delighted to be able to welcome the Secretary of State to meet with representatives of the NFU and other local farmers. As the town’s Member of Parliament, I have had a number of constructive meetings with the farming community on the challenges for this industry presented by Brexit.”

Mark continued:

“The agricultural economy often does not receive the recognition it deserves, despite underpinning much of the wider economy. Thanks to farming, we not only are able to produce much of the food we enjoy but also ensure that we have a sustainable environment for future generations. However, the agricultural economy is much more diverse than that and I was particularly pleased that Dale Aston of Brinklow Biogas was able to attend. His company, which turns crops into safe and sustainable biofuel, is a great example of the changing nature of farming.”

Mark concluded:

“We should be proud that British produce is in demand across the world thanks to its high quality and our world leading animal welfare and food standards, which the Government is committed to protecting and extending.  Whilst no-one should underestimate the challenges of Brexit, I am pleased that Andrea was able to set out a clear and ambitious vision for the future of farming in Britain.”

The Rt. Hon. Andrea Leadsom MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs commented:

“It was a pleasure to meet members of the Rugby, Coventry and Lutterworth branches of the National Farmers Union and a number of local farmers alongside my friend and colleague Mark Pawsey. It was a great opportunity to hear directly their priorities, concerns and opinions and I hope they found the discussion as useful as I did.”

Harry Jolly, Group Secretary of the Rugby, Coventry and Lutterworth Branches of the National Farmers Union added:

“Our members were grateful to be given the opportunity to meet with Andrea Leadsom Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and to hear first-hand how Brexit Negotiations are progressing. Members felt she demonstrated a good knowledge of their industry and were reassured. Their thanks go to Mark Pawsey and his team for organising the meeting.”