NORTH Cornwall’s farmers play a crucial role in driving economic growth, supporting national food security, and achieving ambitious net zero goals. The government is proud to celebrate British farmers and growers who work tirelessly to produce world-renowned, high-quality produce all year round.

This is why we are backing industry-led action that helps customers ‘buy British’ when they shop online and we are supporting the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board’s campaign, which endorses the excellent taste and quality of home-grown meat and dairy products. As the Prime Minister announced at the National Farmers’ Union conference in February, the government is going to provide £15-million to help redirect supplies into the hands of those who need it.

We are also taking concrete actions to back British farming and strengthen domestic food production. This includes ensuring farming and food production will be resilient and sustainable over the long term. Some constituents have concerns about the Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI), suggesting it will not support food production.

But food production and the environment can and must go hand-in-hand. Food production is dependent on healthy soil, good water quality, and abundant pollinators. That is why we are investing in targeted schemes and grants that will support viable businesses, deliver improved environmental outcomes, and support sustainable food production throughout England. I would like to see food production in North Cornwall – and the rest of the UK – expand in the coming years and I will keep working with Defra Ministers to make this happen.

More broadly, the UK has a highly resilient food supply chain, built on supply from diverse sources: strong domestic production as well as imports through stable trade routes. We produce 60 per cent of all the food we need, and 73 per cent of food which we can grow or rear in the UK for all or part of the year, and these figures have changed little over the last 20 years.

Defra has well established ways of working with the industry and across Government to monitor risks that may arise. This includes extensive, regular and ongoing engagement in preparedness for, and response to, issues with the potential to cause disruption to food supply chains. The SFI is not the only scheme or grant available to farmers in North Cornwall.

We also have one-off grants that are worth up to 100 per cent of the cost of buying equipment or undertaking improvements on farms such as fencing. We have doubled our budget on productivity and innovation spend and are investing in the latest technology to allow farmers to be more productive on farms. We have brought online a range of other offers, from helping farmers manage and store slurry to supporting farmers in National Parks and other protected landscapes.

If you require my help with anything, including benefits, the NHS, or cost of living support, please get in touch. I also hold regular advice surgeries across North Cornwall, over the phone and online to book in please contact me via [email protected] or 01208 74337.