Cameron’s pledge to slash Red Tape for farmers

Prime Minister David Cameron is given a tour of the Welsh Mountain sheep enclosure by show director Harry Fetherstonhaugh during his visit to the Royal Welsh Show
Prime Minister David Cameron is given a tour of the Welsh Mountain sheep enclosure by show director Harry Fetherstonhaugh during his visit to the Royal Welsh Show
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Red tape will be cut to help Britain’s farmers export more produce, David Cameron has announced.

During a visit to the Royal Welsh Show in Powys, the Prime Minister said 20,000 fewer farm inspections will be carried out under a new system.

The move will free up time and allow the industry to grow, boosting food and drink exports by an estimated £7 billion, according to Downing Street.

Mr Cameron said: “I am very pleased to be at the Royal Welsh Show today to see the best in livestock, food and drink Wales has to offer.

“Farming and food production are a fundamental part of our rural economy. As a one nation government, we will keep on backing British farmers to produce and sell more home-grown food by liberating them from red tape and opening up new multimillion-pound export markets.

“I hope that the Welsh Government also looks to do more to simplify inspections to benefit the industry and rural communities.”

Plans are also under way to increase the number of British products given protected food names from 63 to 200.

The Yorkshire Post ran a hard-fought campaign to give Wensleydale Cheese Protected Designation of Origin status which culminated in victory in 2013.

Carmarthen Ham and Welsh Laverbread are expected to be given the status, which recognises world famous products such as Parma ham and Feta cheese, later this year.

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb said: “Wales’s profile as a world-class producer of food and drink is a key driver of economic growth and a critical component of our tourism sector. The global appetite for home-grown Welsh produce has never been stronger.

“From Anglesey’s Halen Mon to Welsh Laverbread, an increasing number of products with the ‘Made in Wales’ stamp are now being recognised all over the world.

“It is imperative that we continue to provide our food pioneers with the right level of support at home and in overseas markets. In doing so, we can help unlock the huge potential this sector has to be a significant engine of growth and job creation for Wales’s rural economy.”

The Conservatives campaigned on a platform to reduce Red Tape in farming in 2010. The McDonald review subsequently recommended several areas to free up farmers’ time.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Cameron said he cared deeply about the countryside and was well aware of the difficulties facing farmers.

He said: “We have made changes in the last budget to help farmers spread their income tax payments over five years, we’ve also put in place the grocery code adjudicator to help farmers against the supermarkets.

“I represent a big rural constituency and I care deeply about the countryside. I want a living working countryside - not a museum.

“I know the importance of our agricultural industries and the problems they are facing with low prices and we want to do everything we can to help.”

Before speaking to the media, the prime minister was given a tour of the show ground by the event’s director Harry Fetherstonhaugh - looking in on the Welsh Mountain sheep enclosure as well overseeing a Shire horse competition.

Mr Cameron said he was delighted to be visiting the Royal Welsh Show for a third time - and described the annual event as a wonderful festival of food, farming and rural issues.

He added: “I like it so much, I promised my children I would bring them - they’ve come along today too to see things like sheep shearing competitions and to come and look at some of the rare breeds.”