LIZ TRUSS and GEORGE EUSTICE: It’s our mission to help heroic farmers thrive

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It’s no wonder our farmers put the Union Flag symbol on their produce with pride. 

They know that most Britons are more likely to buy such items of food and drink if they know they come from this country’s soil.

Whatever it is – from Brussels sprouts to the finest beef – shoppers here, as well as many other across the rest of the world, know it will be of the highest quality and flavour.

It's no wonder our farmers put the Union Flag symbol on their produce with pride writes Liz Truss

It’s no wonder our farmers put the Union Flag symbol on their produce with pride writes Liz Truss 

Also, that it was produced under food safety, environmental and animal welfare standards that are second to none.

A typical example is Rodda’s in Cornwall, the world’s largest producer of clotted cream.

Its recent deal with a Japanese importer has secured many tens of thousands of pounds in new business.

Meanwhile, the UK’s largest cheddar exporter is selling Davidstow and Cathedral City cheese to Canada, the United States and other markets.

British beef is now back on American tables for the first time in 20 years, with industry experts estimating that the trade will be worth £66 million over the next five years.

Such opportunities bring jobs and investment, while supporting rural communities.

This is why the Government is using our re-emergence, post-Brexit, as an independent trading nation to help farmers sell more of their brilliant produce around the world. But we know that farmers face unprecedented pressure.

As optimistic as some may feel about these new horizons, others will be nervous.

The Government is working tirelessly to assuage those concerns, and to show farmers the unparalleled opportunities by going global.

As Ministers, we have been listening to them and have been fighting for what they want in negotiations with Japan. Tomorrow, MPs will begin scrutinising the detail of our recently signed agreement and see how much it delivers for our farmers.

Low tariffs will help British producers sell to one of the world’s most dynamic markets.

More help – through the protection of manufacturing processes and brands – will mean they should not be undercut by lower-quality foreign copycats.

Promoting and supporting the interests of our farmers is a priority in every trade deal. In each new deal that the Government signs, a value-generating and values-driven trade policy will ensure that British farmers are championed.

Crucially, too, our food, animal welfare and environmental standards will not be undermined.

The Government is backing some of the toughest sanctions in Europe to stop animal cruelty.

We will be making the case worldwide for improved animal welfare standards – an opportunity denied as part of the European Union. Chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef are already banned in the UK and we will not negotiate to remove that ban in a trade deal.

George Eustice: We will make sure – by using a range of tariffs, quotas and safeguards – that Britain's farmers are not undercut by unfair competition from those with lower standards

George Eustice: We will make sure – by using a range of tariffs, quotas and safeguards – that Britain’s farmers are not undercut by unfair competition from those with lower standards 

We will also maintain our independent Food Standards Agency.

We will make sure – by using a range of tariffs, quotas and safeguards – that Britain’s farmers are not undercut by unfair competition from those with lower standards.

Throughout our trade negotiations, we will keep farmers closely involved through the Agri-Food Trade Advisory Group.

ON Friday, we tabled an amendment to the Agriculture Bill to bolster parliamentary scrutiny of free trade agreements. It will place a duty on the Government to report to Parliament on the impact of trade agreements on the maintenance of food, welfare and environmental standards.

Also, we have the independent Trade and Agriculture Commission, under the chairmanship of the trusted former Food Standards Agency head Tim Smith.

Dozens of experts have contributed, hundreds of voices have been called for evidence, while local farmers, businesses and MPs have been involved in roadshows and round-tables.

Thanks to the Commission’s excellent work, we are announcing today that it will be made a statutory body which will give independent advice on trade deals as they go through Parliament.

By working together with this country’s heroic farmers, as we approach January 1 and prepare to become an independent trading nation, it is our mission to help them thrive – and see more people around the world enjoy the best of British.

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