Industries worth more than £6bn a year are joining forces at the Great Yorkshire Show to see how they can work together to deliver a brighter future for thousands of businesses across the county.

Farming, horticultural and hospitality businesses employ more than 280,000 people in the region, and it is hoped a closer relationship could help boost business resilience in the face of unprecedented economic challenges.

Food and drink is at the heart of a collaboration between the NFU and the York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Hospitality Forum. Their message is the story behind what people eat and drink really matters.

The groups say the goal is to create more opportunities to serve delicious local food. NFU research shows 87 per cent of consumers want to support British food production and 58 per cent are willing to pay more for a meal if the provenance of the main ingredient was promoted.

The NFU brought together industry leaders and operators earlier in the year to look at opportunities to develop a roadmap to get more lower carbon British food on pub, restaurant and café menus.

Farming and hospitality businesses in Yorkshire are the first to respond to the challenge.

NFU regional director, David Hall said: "Great food and drink is what we do in this part of the world. With thousands of farmers across the county producing every ingredient you could imagine, this is a county that could easily feed itself.

“The farming, food and hospitality sectors are inextricably linked and have faced similarly unprecedented economic challenges in recent years, agricultural input costs have risen 44 per cent since 2020, and hospitality businesses have seen rising costs of 15 per cent.

“This makes it even more important for us to forge closer links in a bid to help both sectors thrive in such a difficult trading environment. We already know how important sustainability is to customers, with nine out of ten saying it’s important to them when eating out. Sourcing more local food gives hospitality businesses a great opportunity to bring this to life, telling the story behind the food they serve.

“Plus, all businesses are seeking to reduce their carbon footprint. Farming has the potential to make a huge contribution to the efforts of the hospitality sector to become more carbon friendly.

“In return, creating demand for more home-grown produce could help small family farms and horticultural growers develop a local market for their produce and boost their income at a time when many are struggling to cope with soaring prices.”

Chair of the York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce Hospitality Forum, Philip Bolson, added: "We will be working to help both farmers and hospitality businesses understand how to connect with each other. This is not always immediately obvious.

"It’s clear that good ‘storytelling’ via our menus, websites and on social media can really add value to hard-hit hospitality businesses and in Yorkshire we are certainly not short of great food with a compelling story behind it. So, it makes real sense for our county to take the lead in this national drive, just as we have done with the creation of the first Hospitality Forum by any Chamber of Commerce in the UK.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve to improve the fortunes of our hugely diverse sector that takes in everything from start-up cafés to global brands and Michelin Star restaurants. There is a real desire to see Yorkshire feeding Yorkshire.”