Six months on from the Farm to Fork Summit hosted by Number 10, the NFU has called for the government to deliver on its promises to back British farming by ensuring fairness in food supply chains.

NFU President Minette Batters said: “Food security should always remain a top priority for any government. It is not just about sustaining farmers; it’s about safeguarding a fundamental part of our nation’s resilience and stability via a secure supply of homegrown food.

“Britain’s farmers and growers have faced a perfect storm of challenges in recent months, including crippling input costs, volatile supply chains, and extreme weather events, against a backdrop of changes to farm support and agricultural policy. These have all created unsustainable levels of uncertainty and low confidence across the sector.

The Northern Farmer: Minette Batters

“After meeting with the new Defra Secretary of State Steve Barclay the day after his appointment this week, I pressed the need for urgent action on the vitally important sector reviews that are taking place. They must have a tangible impact on the relationship with farmers and the supply chain. Currently, farmers and growers bear the brunt of the risks and costs within the food supply chain and this is unsustainable for all involved.

“This reality is playing out in real-time with a fractured sugar supply chain – an acute example of the burden put on primary producers. Meanwhile, other sectors such as dairy, eggs, and horticulture remain under pressure as Defra conducts the promised supply chain investigations in each one.

“It has been six months since I sat down at the Farm to Fork summit with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and I appreciate the positive steps that have been made. We called for a national food security summit and a government commitment to work towards 60 per cent self-sufficiency, both of which have happened, as well as the new agri-food attachés to help sell more British food abroad.

“But I have urged the new Secretary of State to ensure Defra’s supply chain reviews within the dairy, horticulture, and poultry sectors deliver much-needed improvements to the operation, fairness, and transparency for all farmers and growers, so we can continue what we do best – provide high-quality, climate-friendly food for the nation.”