A Downing Street meeting of the PM and MPs representing rural constituencies paved the way for a long-awaited food and farming summit hosted by the Prime Minister. West Cornwall and Scilly MP Derek Thomas, who attended the meeting, has welcomed new investment and support for British farmers set out at the UK Farm to Fork Summit. Representatives from the whole food supply chain came together at 10 Downing Street to identify further opportunities to boost growth, drive innovation and improve sustainability. The summit fulfils a commitment made by the Prime Minister last summer.
Derek Thomas MP said, “West Cornwall farmers understand the need to produce great quality food, so it’s good to see the Prime Minister hosting this important summit in support of our farming communities. Our farmers deserve to be confident that Government is on their side and that the contribution they make to our economy and food security is recognised. I welcome the new investment and support announced today.”
Ahead of the Summit, government confirmed a range of further new measures to help strengthen the long-term resilience and sustainability of the sector. Announcements include:
- a new framework for trade negotiations: putting farmers’ interests at the heart of trade policy, committing to protect the UK’s high food and welfare standards and prioritise new export opportunities.
- £5.6 million additional investment to boost exports of great British food around the world: increasing global trade shows and missions, expanding the successful GREAT food and drink campaign, extending the Seafood Exports Package, and providing a bespoke export fund for the dairy sector
- £30 million investment to build on the new Genetic Technology Act: driving forward the use of precision breeding technologies and convening a working group to help produce from farms to the shelves.
- Using new powers to ensure farmers get a fair price for their produce in the egg and horticulture sectors: Following progress in the reviews of the dairy and pig supply chains utilising powers in the Agriculture Act, the next reviews will take place in the egg and horticulture sectors
- Confirming the future of support for horticulture by replacing the retained EU Fruit and Vegetable Producer Organisation Scheme when it closes in 2026 with an expanded offer as part of a new farming payment schemes
Derek Thomas said, “80% of my constituency is farmed and I continue to work with farmers to ensure they have our full support to grow and produce as much as we can. Also, to improve the supply chain between producers and grocery stores and give confidence to consumers to buy British.”