A new "Back British Farming" campaign has begun today which could - if successful - significantly increase the amount of Midlands' farmers produce in the region.
The campaign warns of the country's reliance on imports - with Britain producing just two thirds of what it needs each year to feed the population. One Leicestershire farmer has spoken out in support of the importance of British food.
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The NFU says more needs to be done to help British farmers produce more food for Britain.
It says the UK is currently just 62 % self-sufficient.
The Warwickshire-based Union says if all of the food grown in the UK in 2012 was stored in a larder, and the nation was fed from this larder from January 1, by Wednesday August 14 (today) the larder would be bare.
This is the day Britain would run out of food.
To think that today's date would signal the time when our domestic food supply runs out is frankly alarming; it says to me that we must act.
As an industry we have had a challenging decade but the realisation has dawned that as a nation we can't simply go around the world chasing the cheapest deal for our food.
So, instead we need to look closer to home. Right across the board farmers have a fantastic natural capacity to produce more British food, given the right market signals and the confidence to invest.
The Warwickshire based National Famers Union is launching its 'Back British Farming' intiative today.
It wants consumers, retailers and the Government to Back British Farmers to put British food on more British plates.
The Union says "farming is about producing food and farmers are proud to produce that food to a high standard; British food you can trust".
More than three-quarters of consumers wants supermarkets to stock more food from British farms, according to a National Farmers' Union survey:
- 78% said supermarkets should sell more food from British farms
- 43% said they were more likely to buy traceable food from farms in Britain following the horsemeat scandal
A thousand people were polled by the union.
The head of the National Farmers' Union (NFU) has said farmers are "furious" about the horsemeat scandal.
Peter Kendall said that shorter supply chains and better labelling of British meat would help prevent a repeat.
He added: "Our research also demonstrates the strong demand for British-farmed products, and so retailers, processors and food service companies have a responsibility to ensure there is clear country of origin labelling on the products that consumers purchase."
Tesco has announced three measures designed to ensure that another horsemeat scandal does not happen.
Three products were withdrawn from the supermarket chain after one brand of burger was found to contain as much as 30% horsemeat in DNA tests. The measures are as follows:
- Import less meat from overseas
- Develop closer relationships with suppliers in the UK
- A new internal testing regime
From October 1st, Dairy farmers supplying The Co-operative Dairy will now get 30p a litre for their milk.
“We are in continuous dialogue with our farmers and keep our payments under constant review. We are making this move in recognition of the increasing input costs as we approach the autumn period, in particular animal feed prices, and the poor silage crop as a result of the unprecedented wet summer weather."
Dairy farmers supplying to Robert Wiseman Dairies and Müller Dairy will also be getting an increase.
“Müller is ambitious to grow and to play a major role in UK dairy. This presents real opportunities for dairy farmers who currently supply the Group.
“Whilst this has been an extremely challenging period for the dairy supply chain we believe that a platform now exists from which the industry can begin to look forward. We are confident for the future and we look forward to working with our suppliers to realise our shared aspirations.”
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Dairy farmers are due to meet with Farmfoods today as part of the on-going row over milk prices.
It follows a protest this weekend in Cannock in Staffordshire where farmers sat in a bath of milk in a supermarket car park.
Further demonstrations are planned.