Kent farmers demand Government prioritise British produce

Kent farmers demand Government prioritise British produce

Kent farmers have protested foreign imports of food in supermarkets, leading a “go-slow” protest through Canterbury.

As part of the protest, tractors held up traffic around the city of Canterbury.

The farmers led a convoy of farming vehicles through Canterbury city centre on Sunday 3rd March 2024, displaying signs reading “No Farmers, No Food, No Future” as part of the demonstration.

This comes as farmers in Wales protested the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS) in the week prior, with around 3,000 people turning up at the Senedd.

Over 200 farmers took part in the protest, with bystanders in Canterbury reportedly showing support by honking car horns and applauding the convoy. Organisers Fairness for Farmers said that the protest was to “sound the alarm on the ever-increasing difficulties faces by the British farming industry”, which it said had left UK food security in “peril”.

Liz Webster, founder of the campaign group Save British Farming, stated: “Farming is fraught with risks: risks that have intensified every year with the climate emergency, Ukraine war and Brexit reality which has only served to exacerbate problems.

“They [Government] want to leave us reliant on food imports which are bad for public health, the environment, animal welfare and climate crisis.

“In 2019, this Government was elected with a mandate to uphold our standards and deliver a ready-made deal with the EU which would see British agriculture boom. It is now entirely obvious that they have totally betrayed us all.”

A Government spokesperson said: “We firmly back our farmers. British farming is at the heart of British trade, and we put agriculture at the forefront of any deals we negotiate, prioritising new export opportunities, protecting UK food standards and removing market access barriers.

“We’ve maintained the £2.4 billion annual farming budget which supports farmers to produce food profitably and sustainably and are also looking at ways to further improve fairness in the supply chain and support British farmers and growers, as well as ensuring customers have access to high quality fresh British products.”

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