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Union to lead farmers at food standards rally

NFU president Minette Batters.
NFU president Minette Batters.

Hundreds of farmers will gather in London for a mass rally to lobby government to safeguard the sector after Brexit.

The rally, which will take place on March 25 at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster, has been organised by NFU England and Wales president Minette Batters.

She said the demonstration was being held to urge government to commit that any future trade deals will not allow imports of food produced to standards that would be illegal in the UK.

“This event is about bringing together people from across British business who acknowledge and value the importance of food and farming,” said Ms Batters.

“They are crystal clear that the government must hold the line that they will uphold British farming’s high standards in trade deals, and crucially they must hold imports entering the country to that same standard.”

Failure to safeguard the sector from imports of lower-standard foods would undermine British food production and the country’s domestic farming sector, warned Ms Batters.

She added: “This is an opportunity for hundreds of people to come together and make their views clear that the government must not sacrifice British farming on the altar of free trade and we will be inviting MPs to attend to hear that message first hand.”

NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick said the union’s board had unanimously agreed that Scotland will have a “significant presence” at the rally.

He added: “In addition, the board has backed a regional-based, consumer-facing event to be held across Scotland later this year.

“That will give members the opportunity to tell our fantastic story on the quality and provenance of Scotland’s food and drink.”

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