The former Managing Director of Waitrose has called for the Government to remember the importance for a nation to have the ability to feed its own people.
Lord Mark Price, former Minister for Trade and Investment and MD of Waitrose, addressed the NFU’s Henry Plumb lecture with his thoughts on Brexit and the future of food, farming and retail.
A recognised and respected figure in the retail sector, Lord Price addressed an audience of approximately 130 industry leaders, stakeholders, government and press.
He gave his views on the potential impacts of Brexit on the farming sector and how the retail landscape is ever-changing.
Lord Price said that after defending its people, a Government’s highest priority is to feed its people.
He said: “Everything that we have become used to is about to change. I would suggest there is no time to waste in developing a new globally minded approach and prepare to become match-fit to win a new global game.
“Better collective buying and selling to my mind are now key requirements. And here I think the NFU has a vital role to play in bringing farmers together to look outwards, to understand the threats and embrace the opportunities.”
He added: “For the human condition, for business and society to thrive, the future needs to look brighter than the past. I hope that shortly we can all start to paint that brighter picture.”
NFU Director General, Terry Jones, who chaired the session, said: “The NFU has been very clear that any future trade deals struck must not serve to undermine the high standards British farmers produce to. It is crucial that our high standards are maintained and protected.
“What Lord Price made abundantly clear in his remarks is how important it is for a nation to have the ability to feed its own people. The NFU is working hard to make the case for home-grown food and how the strategic importance of domestic food security cannot be overlooked,” he said.