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Back British Farming: Minette Batters Emphasises the Importance of Self-Sustainability at the House of Commons.

In a resounding call to action, Minette Batters, President of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), underscored the significance of self-sustainability during the annual launch of the NFU’s campaign, Back British Farming, at the House of Commons.

The Back British Farming initiative urges retailers, politicians, and consumers alike, to prioritise British-produced food in their shopping lists. Speaking on the significance of farming in communities, Terese Coffey stated, “Farming is in our communities; it is the bedrock of the nation’s food.”

The event marked a pivotal moment in recognising the incredible potential of British agriculture, emphasising its exceptional quality, high welfare and environmental standards, resulting in the production of nutrient-dense food. Food that doesn’t always reach our tables. Historically, a portion of it has been rejected and regrettably, often relegated to landfill or energy production.

Today, the NFU announced a significant partnership with City Harvest, designating the food charity as its farm gate waste partner. The guiding principle behind this partnership is deceptively simple: “If you would eat it, we will collect it.” City Harvest’s CEO, Sarah Calcutt, herself a farmer and NFU member, has pledged that no good food will go to waste.

This collaboration aligns with the broader efforts of organisations addressing the concerning rise in malnutrition and hunger issues across the UK. City Harvest consistently maintains a growing waiting list of individuals in desperate need of proper nutrition.

 A meal prepared with British ingredients offers value on multiple levels. It delivers excellent nutrition, reflects the utmost care for the environment in which it is cultivated, and champions the environmental benefits of consuming local food rather than relying on imported or manufactured meals.

Back British Farming: NFU calls for action to prioritise British-produced food in everyone’s shopping list.

Among the additional highlights of this campaign is the parliamentary endeavour to introduce a “Buy British” button for all online retailers. This initiative, supported by the Prime Minister and key ministers, seeks to make it easier for consumers to choose British produce, further bolstering the nation’s self-sufficiency.

Steve Reed, the Shadow Secretary of State for DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs), has also joined the chorus of voices advocating for support to British farmers. He expressed his party’s commitment to being champions for farmers, recognizing the need to back them in their innovative endeavours for the betterment of Britain.

Sarah Calcutt was able to engage with all of the regional directors of the NFU discussing how easy it was for their members to arrange collections of surplus food from their farms for the hungry of London and also supporting our community partners in other major cities across the UK.

NFU’s president’s call to action and annual campaign underscore the critical importance of embracing self-sustainability through prioritising British-produced food.

As the campaign gains momentum and garners support from key stakeholders, it becomes increasingly evident that the UK possesses the capacity to not only meet its nutritional needs but also contribute positively to environmental stewardship and the well-being of local communities.

Join City Harvest Festival

This October, be part of City Harvest’s BIG food and fundraising drives to help tackle food poverty in London. 1 in 4 Londoners currently go hungry. Sign up your organisation to help us get the right food to the right people this Autumn.