The Sustainable Food Trust has spent the six months leading up to Britain’s planned departure from the EU, listening to the concerns of farmers regarding the uncertainty over Brexit. We wanted to gain an understanding of their views on the UK leaving the European Union and, amidst the confusion, how they felt about their future.

The document includes testimony from 9 different farmers, growers and food producers across the country, including Helen Browning (organic farmer and CEO of the Soil Association), Ben Pugh (FarmDrop) and Nick Mauro (salad grower, ValeFresco), giving as balanced a view as possible. The result has been a unique collection of opinions that give British farmers a voice.

In the report Ben Pugh from Farmdrop said: “Brexit has significantly lowered the value of the pound, which is making agricultural imports more expensive. If this encourages more retailers to source food locally then great, but my big concern is that it will just accelerate the practice of ‘optimisation’ in processed food.”

Helen Browning said: “The priority must be ensuring that farmers are supported to adopt practices and systems that nurture soil health, given that this is the foundation stone of the health of plants, animals and mankind.”

Alongside this we have included our own considered response based on our concerns and position on the debate around UK agriculture and its future after Brexit.

Commenting on the new report, Honor May Eldridge, SFT Head of Policy, said: “Listening to the farmers that we spoke to highlighted the uncertainty that they face. It is debilitating for farmers and has direct implications for their businesses. Politicians need to take this into consideration and stop holding the country’s food security to ransom. Over the six months of interviews, no further clarity emerged, and no assurance has been offered to farmers. We hope these insights, incorporated with our own reflections, can be used to advocate for a future of sustainable farming post-Brexit.”

For more information, contact Honor Eldridge, honor@sustainablefoodtrust.org

For press enquiries, contact Megan Perry, megan@sustainablefoodtrust.org

Click here to read the full report.

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