Macclesfield farmers, local MP, David Rutley and officers of the National Farmers Union, recently met with Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to discuss key priorities for the rural community.
Meeting at the Goosetree Farm and hosted by the Rowlinson family, over 20 local farmers were grateful for the opportunity to highlight their important work and ask the Secretary of State questions on a variety of important topics affecting the local farming community.
Farmers provided feedback to the Secretary of State on the Sustainable Farming Incentive and highlighted how the fund had made a real difference to their work. They were pleased to hear that there will be an additional 10% uplift on the scheme, as well as broadening the scope of the fund to better reflect the full spectrum of farming interests, such as supporting environmental protection.
The Secretary of State also listened to farmers concerns about tenancies and their views on environmental land management. He outlined the Government’s commitment to food security and food production through a new consultation on clearer labelling, aiming to tackle the unfairness created by misleading labelling and to better protect farmers and consumers.
NFU County Adviser Helen Wainwright added, “It was fantastic to have Mr Barclay out on farm so he can recognise the issues farmers are facing in Cheshire, see the real risk to food production and to understand the public goods farmers deliver. The meeting gave our members the opportunity to cover further pressing issues in the sector."
Speaking after the meeting, David said “I am very pleased Macclesfield farmers had the chance to sit down with the Secretary of State and to discuss matters of real importance to the rural community. It was positive to hear how the Government is listening to farmers and making changes to the Sustainable Farming Incentive to make it more relevant to their work.”