Edward Timpson CBE, Member of Parliament for Eddisbury, spoke on behalf of Cheshire farmers during oral questions to ministers from the Department for International Trade in the House of Commons yesterday (Thursday 15th June).
Mr Timpson had asked the Department for International Trade about recent steps it had taken to support British farmers and food producers to increase their global sales.
Representing a constituency with a strong agricultural business ethic, Mr Timpson regularly meets with farmers and suppliers to discuss local issues and economic opportunities for rural communities, and works closely with the Cheshire branch of the National Farmers’ Union on matters of agricultural policy.
In addition, Mr Timpson recently hosted an international trade roundtable for local organisations and businesses in Cheshire, when they discussed the opportunities international commerce can present to small and medium sized businesses across a variety of sectors.
In response to Mr Timpson’s question, Graham Stuart MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of International Trade, said:
“The UK’s farming, food and drink products are a source of pride, whether it be Scotch whisky, Welsh lamb, or other iconic products from across the country. Our new trade deals are unlocking new markets and opportunities for this important industry. Our ‘Open Doors’ campaign offers a wide range of support such as exporting masterclasses, a flagship mentoring programme and matching buyers with sellers to ensure more British produce is sold overseas.”
Pressing him further, Mr Timpson asked:
“Does the Minister agree that the Government’s ambitious strategy for growing exports needs to include more agricultural councils in our embassies, a UK export council to help co-ordinate that strategy, and better promotion and marketing of brand Britain abroad so that we can ensure farming and food companies in Eddisbury and right across the country can embrace the undoubted benefits and opportunities that UK free trade deals can deliver?”
Minister Stuart added:
“My Honourable Friend cleverly tempts me to list the recommendations of the Trade and Agriculture Commission, which constructively seeks to improve our support for UK farmers. We look forward to responding to that as soon as possible.”