By Matt Donald, pig & poultry farmer, north Yorkshire
As I write this the news is just in that over one million people have signed the NFU’s petition, which urges the government not to allow food to be imported into this country that would be illegal to produce here. I must commend the NFU for their efforts in achieving this, but what does this mean as a poultry farmer?
It is very pleasing that so many people wish to back British farming and do still care where their food comes from. I hope it is a wake up call for those sat in parliament, especially when this is backed by 80,000 letters to MPs, some of whom may have little connection with rural Britain, others can at times ignore their connection.
The petition has also been a welcome positive story, making some well known newspapers, the message is getting across to many people. We saw plenty of negative headlines last year, whether that was anti-meat agendas or how we were ruining the environment! It was well advertised that it was farming not transport polluting the air- a few closed airports and empty roads have gone a long way in quieting those voices! I guess coronavirus has yet another positive!
It is rare you meet a farmer who doesn’t have at least one or two negative comments about farm inspections. However, everything we go through on farm, no matter how mundane you sometimes feel the task may be, repetitive record keeping, checklists or training you did only a few years ago. It is all worth it to achieve these high standards that the consumer does demand and wish to protect, let us as an industry keeping moving in the right direction, to me this petition was a reminder, that what we all do is appreciated.