Food and farming leaders from across Yorkshire have issued a united plea to the Government, urging Ministers to wholeheartedly back a “pioneering” collaboration between Whitehall and businesses in order to weather a period of intense economic uncertainty and improve the region’s rural prosperity.
The initiative, coordinated by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership, was launched by the Yorkshire Post on 13th April 2019. You can read the coverage here.
A letter, from our Chair, David Kerfoot, is co- signed by regional leaders and organisations working with farming and food businesses including the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, National Farmers’ Union (NFU), Country Land and Business Association (CLA) and food group Deliciously Yorkshire, asks newly installed Farming Minister, and Yorkshire MP, Robert Goodwill to pledge the Government’s commitment to begin working with them now to ensure the region’s agricultural businesses are fully prepared for the future.
You can see the letter in full below:
Yorkshire unites to back farming community behind a positive post Brexit vision
Our farming community is facing the most fundamental changes to the business environment it operates in for generations. Despite this, it is our belief that times of change and challenge bring opportunity.
We, the undersigned members of the farming and food, rural community, have united to wholeheartedly back the industry to seize that opportunity.
Through Grow Yorkshire
, a major new initiative, we have a positive vision for the industry which is centred on cultivating enterprise. We have organised ourselves around this area of focus and are now asking for your commitment to back us in achieving this.
Farming is central to the economic, environmental and social fabric of our great county of Yorkshire. The farmers and food companies based in Yorkshire don’t just feed the nation; they manage globally important landscapes which support a thriving tourism industry. They are the bedrock of our rural communities, and provide crucial public goods that benefit wider society.
We are the people and organisations closest to our farmers and food producers. We understand their pressing needs, and the areas of opportunity. This is why we have created Grow Yorkshire
as a platform to create and communicate solutions to grow farm incomes and productivity, positively impacting food production and ultimately grasping the opportunities that will undoubtedly arise from this period of uncertainty.
We are leading the way because of the importance of farming to Yorkshire, as well as the wider UK. Our approach is one that other areas can adopt too. It includes an industry facing dedicated website to enable and inspire change, and a process to facilitate between collaboration between partners.
Through our collaborative approach we have identified these strategic priorities needed to deliver our vision:
- providing practical support for farmers with business planning;
- clarifying and providing clear guidance on income opportunities from providing public goods;
- supporting farm businesses and households to stimulate and manage change and succession;
- and enabling farmers who are innovating, and who want to innovate, to do more.
We now invite your teams to work in partnership with us to develop solutions together. We believe that change cannot be realised solely from the top down, and that we can provide the grassroots
understanding and engagement needed to deliver the future our farmers and rural communities deserve.
We are requesting a meeting between our Grow Yorkshire
steering board and yourself. We also propose that a nominated senior Government contact, currently suggested as Alison Ismail Agri-Food Supply Chain Director, liaise with our Chair, David Kerfoot MBE DL on how we proactively take forward this pioneering approach to collaboration between Government and regional partners.
We have a positive vision of the future and sincerely hope you will give it your wholehearted backing.
Chair of York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnership