Gove says high-quality food production 'hallmark of British agriculture'

British farmers are ‘better equipped than anyone’ to deliver high quality food, Defra Secretary Michael Gove said
British farmers are ‘better equipped than anyone’ to deliver high quality food, Defra Secretary Michael Gove said

Michael Gove has said he has "heard, received and understood" a call by farmers to uphold high-quality British food production in post-Brexit trade agreements.

The Defra Secretary said British farmers must be better equipped than anyone to fulfil the national and global demand for high quality food.

The comments come as part of a speech from Mr Gove at the NFU Summer Reception, which took place yesterday afternoon (25 June).

It welcomed over 60 parliamentarians to the House of Commons Terrace to speak to farmers and show their support for the British farming sector.

The NFU has frequently called on the government to uphold food production amid a direction towards a "green Brexit", one which emphasises environmental protection from farmers.

But Mr Gove used the meeting to say high-quality food production was a "hallmark of British agriculture" in post-Brexit trade talks.

NFU President, Minette Batters said the farming union "welcomes" Mr Gove's recognition of the high standards that British farmers adhere to.

“Yesterday I made clear to MPs in attendance that we have a vision of productive, thriving, profitable farming businesses that can farm smarter – producing more food for a burgeoning population with less impact. It’s these businesses that can afford to invest in our natural environment,” Ms Batters said.

“As Michael Gove said yesterday, the health of all of us depends on the health of farming. We have an ambition for British farming to have a clean bill of health post-Brexit, ready to provide every citizen, regardless of income, with access to nutrient-dense, high-welfare, quality and affordable British food.”

The NFU President will also meet with Prime Minister Theresa May today (26 June) to raise the importance of the food and farming sector to the country.

The Prime Minister has previously acknowledged that the government will deliver a policy that will work for the whole farming industry post-Brexit.