We’re backing ‘Back British Farming Day’
On 11th September the NFU (National Farmers’ Union) calls on the Government and general public to support and protect British self-sufficiency in food production
Back British Farming Day is a day to celebrate the hard work of farmers around the UK whose home-grown products feed the nation every day. It was first commemorated in 2013 by the National Farmer’s Union (NFU) as a means of championing British agricultural food production.
It was also created as a day to reflect on something that is becoming of increasing concern; the downturn in British food production self-sufficiency, which has been on a steady decline in the last 30 years – dropping from 78% in 1984 to 61% in 2018. As such, Back British Farming day has often taken place on the date in the year when the Great British larder would effectively ‘run out’ if it was reliant on its own produce.
The sixth annual BBFD will happen on 11th September, when the government will be called on to make a strong commitment to British farming to secure a steady supply of home-grown food and to prevent this self-sufficiency rate from decreasing any further.
With Brexit on the horizon, the NFU have asserted that it’s more important than ever to get behind British farmers, and by extension protect the UK’s economy. The farming industry plays a crucial role in the UK’s economic output, contributing more than £120 billion and employing almost 4 million people. In September 2018 the Agriculture Bill (a post-Brexit Agriculture plan) was presented to Parliament, the same day as the NFU sent their food report ‘UK: A Nation United by Food’ to MP’s.
In an ever-growing world, sustainability is a crucial aspect of operations for many businesses; at Scania it is the cornerstone for future driving operations and technology. The farming industry is no exception - as the UK’s population rises, sustainable farming techniques are going to become a vital means of feeding the population. It will by no means be an easy feat, but keeping up with an increasing population will necessitate creating the right conditions for British produce to thrive today, tomorrow, and into the future.
The NFU have expressed that there are ways of achieving this; bigger hedgerows, more woodland, sourcing more carbon-rich soil, contributing to renewable energy combined with carbon capture, and storage in grasslands for grazing to name a few.
Many celebrity chefs such as James Martin and Tom Kerridge have shown their support for the Back British Farming initiative, and supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi and Morrison’s have also signed the Back British Farming Charter. In previous years, MP’s have pledged their support by donning a Back British Farming pin made from home-grown wheat and wool.
The NFU turn to the public and ask for their support of British farmers by buying British products labelled with the red tractor logo or British Lion. The benefits of buying British include traceability, freshness, being able to source products in season for your local area and less greenhouse gasses due to reduced air miles to supply. One of the NFU’s main goals is to be net zero in agricultural emissions by 2040.
With that being said, we wanted to take part in the sixth Back British Farming Day by sharing the stories of our farming and haulier customers throughout the Eastern Counties: