Government must declare its commitment to British food

British Poultry farmers call for public procurement of British food and no dilution of health and welfare standards in trade deals at the British Poultry Council’s Annual Reception and Awards in the presence of Secretary of State Michael Gove.

British poultry meat farmers and producers are calling on the Government to acknowledge their contribution to sustainable food production and the economy by procuring British food for public services.

Speaking at the British Poultry Council’s Annual Reception at the House of Commons on 5 December, BPC Chairman, John Reed, said: “How we choose to feed ourselves as a nation, and the place British food has on the world stage, are questions we must answer. We need to articulate how proud we are of our home-grown food, our world-leading standards and the ‘Great British Food Values’ that go into producing it.

Brexit is giving us an opportunity to re-define our Britishness, to say that our first choice is British and to celebrate our own world-class standards. Government’s commitment to not let any potential trade deal dilute our high standards of production is something our farmers truly deserve.

Government must make a concerted effort to buy food from those in this country who invest in meeting those standards. We want the Government to promote British food, and give public procurers the support to source it as their first choice.

Our communities want to know where their food comes from, and that it is safe, wholesome, and nutritious. We are calling on the Government to procure British food for public services and declare its commitment to British produce and producers, and give confidence to our farmers and consumers.

Food produced by British farmers and producers should not only be actively prioritised for public services, it should be celebrated.”

The event also welcomed Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Rt Hon Michael Gove, who addressed the gathering. 

BPC Chairman John Reed was joined by Neil Parish MP for Tiverton and Honiton to present the 2017 BPC Awards, which acknowledged the exceptional contribution of those working in the sector. This year’s BPC Award winners were:

· Distinguished Service: Reg Smith, Agricultural Director, Faccenda Foods

· Distinguished Service: Dr Andrew Ballantyne Agricultural Technical Manager, Gressingham Foods

· Distinguished Service: Kevin Smith, Director of Agriculture, Banham Poultry Ltd

· Special Merit: Professor Nigel Gibbens, Chief Veterinary Officer, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

· Special Merit: Len Goodman, Anglian Turkey Association

· Student Scholarship of the Year: Allison Doreen Craig, PhD student, SRUC

· Student Scholarship of the Year: Lucy Berriman, Harper Adams graduate and Poultry Biosecurity Field Technician, Kilco International Ltd

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