We are proudly the rural capital of food. As a country, we need to celebrate our local food producers, recognise their environmental stewardship and reduce the burdens they face.
Farming is at the heart of so many of our communities across Rutland, Melton, the Vale and Harborough villages, and I have been passionate about standing up for our local farmers who work so tirelessly to feed our nation.
When I was first elected I founded the All Party Parliamentary Group on Geographically Protected Foods, and in June 2022 I published the first-ever MP report on Geographically Protected Food and Drink. We have a once-in-a-generation chance to re-define our food and drink policy, to promote our local industries, support the best of our culinary heritage, and further create good paying jobs in the agriculture, food and drink manufacturing sectors. With this report, I hope to go some way to changing that.
As Chair of the Dairy All Party Parliamentary Group on Dairy, I continue to champion the voice of local dairy farmers and hosted UK dairy producers at 'Parliament's Celebration of Dairy' event last year.
My fight against Mallard Pass Solar Plant continues, a heinously large development that threatens quality agricultural land and our wonderful biodiversity in Rutland. You can read the latest updates on my campaign here.
I also believe that we must better equip our communities and young people with the skills our rural economies need. As such, I'm continuing to push for investment in agri-tech, in closer relationships between rural businesses and schools and for a greater focus on agricultural and technical skills and education.
Buying British is good for our local food producers, good for the environment, and good for consumer choice, so it's vital that we all come together to celebrate our wonderful local farmers. I recently joined over 100 MPs calling on supermarkets to highlight the very best of British produce by incorporating a 'Buy British' section online. This simple change will make it easer for all of us to buy high quality, locally made, and environmentally more sustainable food and drink.
Let's buy British and shout about our amazing local farmers and food producers!