THE MESSAGE ‘Back British Farming’ was delivered loud and clear during the annual Lord Mayor's Show in London last weekend.

The age-old tradition which involves a civic procession through the city streets proved a perfect opportunity for farmers to gather and demonstrate their pride for the farming industry and to showcase the best of British produce to millions of viewers on the BBC and the thousands of spectators lining the streets. The NFU joined forces with the Worshipful Company of Farmers, Red Tractor and Massey Ferguson to encourage the public to get behind British farming.

Scotland’s first young farmer to be invited to join the parade, John McCulloch, shared with The SF his experience: “I was invited to represent SAYFC and join the NFU Young Ambassadors to take part in the Lord Mayors Show which began at St Paul's Cathedral and travelled round the city, passing sights such as the Bank of England, Mansion House, the Royal Courts of Justice and Guildhall. Our float on the day consisted of a Massey Ferguson tractor pulling a trailer full of fresh British produce, bearing the message 'Proud to produce your food',” John explained. “It was a fantastic day for farmers as the Lady Mayoress lead the entire Lord Mayors Show with a small Massey Ferguson tractor, due to her connections to Agriculture.”

The same message delivered during the procession has also been echoed in the general election manifesto published this week by NFU president Minette Batters: “The outcome of this General Election will determine the future direction of this country and our farming system, including how we trade with the world, how we invest in our food system and how we attract a workforce. British farmers are already world leaders in our standards of animal welfare, environmental protection and food safety, providing the nation with a trusted supply of safe, traceable and affordable food while caring for our iconic countryside.

“However, with the right political environment we believe that we can deliver even more,” she continued. “From our ambitious vision for net zero agriculture by 2040 to increasing our self-sufficiency by producing more high-quality, British food at home, British farmers are up for the challenge."

Ms Batters went on to explain that there are certain threats facing the industry which could thwart its ambitions: “If we crash out of the EU without a deal or introduce a trade policy that allows imports of food produced to standards that would be illegal to produce here, delivering on our ambitions suddenly becomes very challenging. That is why we are urging all political parties to commit to protecting our standards of production in future trade policy as one of our headline asks in this manifesto.

“Ahead of the General Election, I will be speaking to candidates from all parties and reiterating to them the strategic importance of British food and farming to the nation, contributing £122 billion to the economy and delivering almost 4 million jobs. It is absolutely crucial that the issues we raise in this manifesto are addressed by the future government, to ensure our sector has a sustainable and ambitious future,” she concluded.