The Lib Dems have committed to ‘champion British farming’ as part of their election campaign.

Speaking at an event in Wales, party leader Ed Davey said: “British farmers are the best in the business, but Conservative neglect has left too many farmers on their knees. Rishi Sunak takes farmers for granted.”

Mr Davey launched a ‘Back British Farming’ campaign with three key pledges.

The first is to raise the farming budget by £1bn, which is one of the main asks by NFUS. This would see an ‘immediate injection of £1bn into agricultural and horticultural budgets’, taking them from £2.4bn to £3.4bn, to further support sustainable domestic food production, initially targeted at shortage areas.

The funds would go towards productivity improvements, training and technology to bring down prices for the long-term and make the UK more resilient against import shocks, and would support farmers committed to a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly direction for farming.

READ MORE | Farming Unions urge major retailers to back British Farming

The second undertaking is to ‘fix workforce shortages for farmers, fishers and food processing’.

The party says it wants to let industry recruit the workers needed by scrapping ‘arbitrary visa salary thresholds’. Mr Davey pointed to work by NFU which found a shortage of workers caused £60m worth of fruit and veg to go to waste in the first half of 2022.

Lastly, there will be a focus on fixing ‘botched trade deals’ and the party is calling for the reopening of the Australian trade deal to ensure that British standards are not undercut and require Australia to meet climate change commitments.

Legislation would also be introduced to guarantee British standards of environmental protection and animal welfare in trade deals, and giving Parliament the powers to approve negotiating mandates and give final approval of trade agreements.

The party has also launched a dedicated campaign website, urging the public to sign its online petition to ‘back our farmers’.

The website, which is similar to the NFU’s campaign, says farmers across the country are ‘worried about their future’ and that the ‘UK will be flooded with poor quality food that undercuts the food they produce to high environmental and animal welfare standards’.

The Lib Dems will be looking to grow their number of MPs from the 15 which sat in the last parliament.