Derek Thomas and DEFRA Secretary meet West Cornwall Farmers

Derek Thomas hosts robust debate between West Cornwall Farmers and DEFRA Secretary Elizabeth Truss MP.

As part of a visit to West Cornwall last week Elizabeth Truss MP, Secretary for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, met with a large group of farmers from West Cornwall to discuss what the Government is doing to help this vital industry.

Derek Thomas, Conservative Prospective MP, who hosted this meeting at the Old Cattle Market in Helston, said ‘’I asked Elizabeth Truss to meet our farmers because I am aware that there are particular issues that make farming very challenging. The price paid to our dairy farmers for their milk at the moment is completely unacceptable and I was keen to find out what can be done to improve this situation. Farming is an important industry here in West Cornwall and we need to ensure people feel they can still make a decent living if we are to secure the well-managed future of our countryside.”

Issues raised included the stress and disruption caused by Bovine TB, the shortage of youngsters coming into the industry and misleading labelling of produce on supermarket shelves.

In response the DEFRA Secretary talked of her frustration at the unwillingness of some to get on top of the outbreak of Bovine TB that has caused untold distress to farmers and cost the tax-payer millions of pounds. Despite this, Elizabeth said she was confident that her strategy would eradicate the disease by 2038. New laws would now ensure that clearer labelling means that customers would soon be able to easily identify British products in most cases but there was much more that could be done. In response to ensuring we had a healthy farming industry for the future Elizabeth told of the considerable work she was doing to promote British Produce in new markets.

After the meeting Derek concluded “It is important that we get to meet those that are making decisions on behalf of the industry we work in despite being so far from Westminster. As the Prospective MP I have always worked to ensure that West Cornwall is not forgotten and that our concerns and ideas are heard by leading Government Ministers”

At the close of the meeting the Defra Secretary received the NFU Manifesto from Manaccan Farmer and NFU Representative, Roger Jenkin.

Photo Derek Thomas with Elizabeth Truss and Manaccan Farmer and NFU Rep, Roger Jenkin.

Kind regards

Derek Thomas
Prospective Conservative Member of Parliament
St Ives Constituency
Mobile: 07974 797754.