A PETITION calling on the UK government to block the importation of foods produced in ways that would be illegal for our farmers has topped one million signatures.

The 'Support Our Standards' petition was organised by the National Farmers Union in England and supported by NFU Scotland.

"Scottish and UK farmers produce food to the highest welfare, environmental and traceability standards in the world," explained the Scottish union. "Our commitment to producing food of the highest quality must not be sold away in a bid to secure trade deals.

"If you want to ensure that we don't import food into the UK which is produced in ways that would be illegal here, please join us and sign this petition from our friends at NFU calling on the UK Government to protect our standards in future trade deals."

Commenting on the petition hitting the one million mark, NFUS president Andrew McCornick said: “The fact that the NFU survey on standards, which we have supported and have been promoting through our social media channels, has now achieved more than one million of signatures gives politicians a crystal clear message on how the nation feels about the potential pitfalls of a poor trade deal that fails to support food and farming across the UK.

“We were deeply disappointed when the House of Commons recently failed to back important amendments to the Agriculture Bill which would have ensured all food consumed in the UK is produced in a way that matches the high welfare, environmental and traceability standards expected of UK farmers. The very strict controls on farming methods practised in the UK should be the minimum legal requirement placed on all food which is imported here.

“The response to this petition shows clearly that the public shared our dismay at that vote. That support has simply strengthened our resolve now that the Bill has moved to the House of Lords before returning to the Commons later in the year. We issued a briefing to members of the House of Lords last week and although the committee stage, when detailed line by line examination will take place has yet to be scheduled, we hope the views of all UK farming unions will be taken on board at that stage," he said. "We especially want to thank those Scottish consumers who have signed up and are as keen as we are that we don't import food into the UK which is produced in ways that would be illegal here.”

To add your signature to the petition go to www.campaigns.nfuonline.com/page/56262/petition/1