New Defra Secretary George Eustice who was promoted in the latest Cabinet reshuffle, and whose family still runs a fruit and livestock farm in Cornwall has been urged to back British farmers and growers and not allow high UK standards of food production to be sacrificed in future trade talks, for example with the United States.
In March last year he wrote a piece for the Guardian where he argued that he UK couldn’t ignore environmental standards in favour of trade deals with the US, but on other occasions he has suggested that UK farm support should focus on R&D and technology rather than support for marketing.
NFU President Minette Batters said that the Secretary of State’s support will be crucial as British farming faces new opportunities and challenges in life outside the EU. ““British farming is among the best in the world at producing safe, traceable and nutritious food and I look forward to working with the new Secretary of State to position British food and farming as a global leader in sustainable, high quality climate-friendly food,” she said.
“George Eustice is well respected within the farming community for his knowledge and understanding of farming but also his hard work as a Minister in Defra over the past six years. I hope to welcome him on to my farm very soon to further discuss British farming’s potential as we start a life outside of the EU.”
James Clark, Director of Policy and Communications at the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) commented, “We see the appointment of George Eustice MP as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as a positive move given his knowledge of our industry.”
Photo Caption: George Eustice
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons