Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom addresses the Oxford Farming Conference 2017.
For an industry that’s been around as long as mankind itself, farming has been at the centre of human achievement. And, no matter how the world around us changes, we rely on the same three basic needs to sustain us – food, air, and water.
Farming is at the heart of all of our lives.
It builds rural communities; it supports our beautiful natural environment. And vitally, as the global population moves towards 9 billion by 2050, it feeds us. Nothing should be more important to us all than the continued success of this great industry, so your theme for this year’s conference, ‘Thrive or Survive’, is very fitting. And I am confident that 2016 will be remembered as the year that the UK chose to do a whole lot more than just ‘survive’. Our ambition – both as a country and as an industry – should be to grow and prosper like never before.
The provenance of British food matters to consumers all around the world. When they choose British, they know they can trust the origins of our unique, great tasting products. And through our schools we will be encouraging the next generation to have a closer connection to the land and a better understanding of the food chain.
So, as we prepare to leave the EU, the fundamentals of the sector are strong. I believe the British people have handed our food, farming and fishing industries an extraordinary opportunity to ‘thrive’.
To read more head to the DEFRA site using this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/environment-secretary-sets-out-ambition-for-food-and-farming-industry