GBP2.4B support plan to boost British farming and food security

GBP2.4B support plan to boost British farming and food security

London – Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has unveiled a significant support package for British growers at the UK Farm to Fork Summit, held at Downing Street today.

The measures aim to tackle the UK's agricultural challenges,with the comprehensive package including measures to maintain the annual farming budget at £2.4 billion and introducing a £427 million grant to boost innovation and productivity.

The Seasonal Worker Visa Route will be expanded to ensure sufficient labour for the horticulture sector, supporting the timely harvest of crops.

Key Measures Announced:
  1. Financial Support and Stability:

    • Maintenance of the annual farming budget at £2.4 billion and a £427 million grant for innovation.
    • Expansion of the Seasonal Worker Visa Route to address critical labour shortages.
  2. Boosting Domestic Production:

    • Investments in high-tech, controlled environment horticulture to increase domestic fruit and vegetable production.
    • A new trade framework to protect UK food standards and explore new export opportunities.
  3. Investment in Innovation:

    • Allocation of up to £30 million for precision breeding technologies.
    • Funding for renewable energy solutions on farms.
  4. Sustainable Practices:

    • Support for regenerative farming and alternative protein sources.
    • Investments in seafood science and innovation through the UK Seafood Fund.

Prime Minister Sunak stated, "British farmers have shown incredible resilience in the face of recent challenges. Our commitment is to provide the necessary support to ensure their continued success and to strengthen our food security."

NFU President Minette Batters praised the government’s recognition of the strategic importance of British agriculture, welcoming the new measures aimed at enhancing food production and sustainability. "These actions recognise the importance of coordinated action across government to support confidence, investment, and growth in British food," Batters stated.

The Fresh Produce Consortium (FPC) also welcomed the initiative. Nigel Jenney, FPC's chief executive commented, "We are positive about the opportunity to enhance UK fresh produce production and food security. This initiative reinforces the need for a balance of imports to meet the diverse eating habits of our nation."

These measures underscore the government's dedication to addressing the challenges facing the agricultural sector and ensuring a sustainable future for UK food production. For more details, visit the official government announcement.

Photo by Yosuke Ota on Unsplash