Standing up for Cumbrian farmers in Parliament, Dr Neil Hudson quizzed the Government on what they are doing to mitigate the industry’s increasing financial pressures.
At an Environment, Food and Rural Affairs question session, Dr Hudson praised Cumbrian and UK farmers for producing high-quality food during these testing times.
However he reinforced that more needs to be done to tackle the rising costs of fertiliser, animal feed and fuel.
In the Commons, Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, said:
“Food security has sadly come into sharp relief again with the dreadful situation in Ukraine. Our fantastic farmers in Cumbria and across the UK continue to produce high-quality food in these difficult times.
“But as we've heard there are increasing pressures with fertilizer costs, animal feed costs, and fuel costs.
“Can my right honourable friend, reassure me that Government will work cross-government to support our Farmers to mitigate against these pressures so that they continue to produce the highest quality food?”
Replying, Jo Churchill the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said:
“We maintain a constant dialogue across government, keeping all these things in view, but as I say the SFI, making sure that we are allowing farmers to plant and be rewarded for planting nitrogen-fixing plants, for example, making sure that we're using the most of all technology and innovation to help minimize inputs, to help keep control on those costs is what we are doing, right across the department.”
Speaking afterwards, Dr Neil Hudson commented:
“I am proud to represent some of the UK’s finest farming communities but we can’t hide from the fact there are growing concerns about how farmers can continue to produce high-quality food amid spiralling costs.
“Just last weekend I held one of my Farmers’ Surgeries with local people in the industry and they all said the same thing. Costs are going up and the sector needs support.
“Farming is a pivotal £100 billion industry in the UK that cannot be left behind. But more than that, farming is about our landscape, our heritage and who we are as a society.
“I’ve already asked the Chancellor to put emergency measures in place, similar to the ones that saved so many businesses during the pandemic. And, while I’m pleased he’s acted on raising the National Insurance threshold and cut fuel duty, I continue to urge the Government to do more support our rural communities
“I’d like to thank the Minister for her response and I hope they keep the cross-government dialogue open during these testing times.
“This is not a problem that will go away on its own. We need to stand up for British farmers and fiercely guard the nation’s food security against growing financial concerns as soon as possible.”