I have pledged my support for Welsh farming today at an event hosted in Parliament by the National Farmers Union (NFU).
The farming industry is important to Wales and Delyn. Food farming is worth £6.1 billion to the Welsh economy and supports 14,000 businesses. It employs 45,000 people nationwide, but only 1 in 10 of those businesses export so the support of MPs is needed to help boost this important industry.
The aim is to grow the industry to £7 billion in the coming years. The pledges signed by me include:
• Ensure every decision I make reflects the strategic importance of British food and farming to our nation’s home-grown food supply;
• Work to ensure British farmers retain the best possible access to existing markets both inside and outside the EU;
• Safeguard the rules governing imports to ensure consumers enjoy the same high standard from imported food and drink as those adhered to by British farmers;
• Be an advocate for British farming and its commitment to driving some of the highest standards in the world for animal welfare;
• Remember a productive, profitable and progressive farming sector is the best way to secure the rural economy;
• Implement policies that are science and evidence-based to create the right regulatory environment for British food and farming; and
• Ensure that the process of leaving the EU maintains the highest level of certainty and stability for British farm business.
The agriculture sector is important for North Wales as it provides thousands of jobs and brings money into our communities. By signing this pledge I am demonstrating how much I value those who work in our rural economy.
It is important that MPs bring forward the opportunities and threats that our farming community currently face to the Government. I have always worked hard to ensure that I question Ministers on their approach to policy to ensure that failing policies are scrapped. Many of those who work in farming have raised their concerns about the exit deal we can secure from Brexit. I am determined to ensure that we have a jobs first Brexit and one that protects the high animal welfare standards we have come to expect in Britain.
I look forward to continue working closely with the NFU Cymru and other organisations to secure a robust future for our farming industry.