All three main parties set out pledges for farming if elected

The UK's three main parties have made pledges to support farmers by boosting public sector sourcing from British farms
The UK's three main parties have made pledges to support farmers by boosting public sector sourcing from British farms

All three main parties have now set out their general election manifestos, which include policies they would implement to support British farming if elected.

Both Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives have pledged to increase the UK agriculture budget by £1 billion, while Labour has remained silent on this.

However, the party has committed to promote the highest standards when it comes to food imports, while the Tories promise to introduce a legally binding target to enhance food security.

In other areas, all three parties have made commitments to support farmers by increasing public sector sourcing from British farms.

The Conservatives and Labour have promised to source at least 50% of public sector food locally or to higher environmental standards.

In recent months, the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats have all recognised the importance of food security to UK national security.

Responding to the parties' manifestos, the NFU said there was 'plenty of positives', but it called the agricultural budget as the 'single most vital element'.

Because of this, Labour's silence on the agricultural budget was 'deeply disappointing', the union said.

“This isn’t just ‘money for farmers’, it’s the funding which helps the sector transition away from the old EU system," said NFU president Tom Bradshaw.

“Our members will welcome the Lib Dem and Conservative commitments to increase the UK agriculture budget by £1 billion and protect it."

In Labour's manifesto, it pledged to end the badger cull, calling it 'ineffective'. But the NFU said this type of language was 'incredibly unhelpful'.

Mr Bradshaw said: "It disregards the latest science showing a 56% decline in this awful disease – which we should remember kills thousands of cattle a year – and disrespects the incredible efforts our members have made to try and deliver TB eradication by 2038."

He concluded: “We are continuing to engage with candidates to highlight the importance of a thriving homegrown food sector, and the need for resilient and profitable farming businesses to underpin it.”

What has the NFU been campaigning for?

Some of the unions key asks have included:

• A commitment to a UK agricultural budget that underpins sustainable domestic food production - of £5.5 billion.

• Developing core production standards that apply to all agri-food imports.

• Establishing a new food security index and target, including a statutory duty to monitor and report on domestic food production levels each year.

• A smooth transition to new environmental schemes that are open to all farmers, less bureaucratic and ensure profitable long-term food-producing businesses.

• A commitment to source 50% of food into the public sector from British farms.