Defra Secretary Liz Truss is hosting 80 leading food and farming representatives at Defra’s headquarters today to kick-start discussions on a 25-year plan for the industry.
Among the key areas of discussion will be ways to strengthen the British brand for food, increase exports and boost farm productivity.
Mrs Truss said the Great British Food and Farming Plan would ‘up the country’s ambitions for food and farming, setting out how we can grow more, buy more and sell more British food’.
Defra will work with industry around seven key themes intended to increase competiveness across the food chain and help the UK become one of the most innovative food nations in the world. These are:
The event, the first of several convened by Defra and led by industry, brings together trade associations, farming businesses, retailers, food manufacturers and the research community to share ideas on how to make progress on these issues.
The 25-year plan was one of the key food and farming pledges in the Conservative manifesto, alongside plans for a Great British Food Unit and a new single farm inspection body. Mrs Truss also recently announced Defra would be releasing reams of data to help boost rural businesses.
Speaking ahead of the event, Mrs Truss said the Government was ‘hugely ambitious for the future of food and farming and its potential to drive growth’.
“Our food and farming industry is already an economic powerhouse, worth over £100billion a year and supporting 1 in 8 jobs.
“By championing the latest technology, building skills and creating jobs and apprenticeships we will create a stronger brand for British food and drink that will see our quality produce enjoyed at home and exported around the globe.”