Grow Yorkshire action plan to be drawn up in mission to support farmers after meeting with Farming Minister Robert Goodwill

David Kerfoot, chairman of the North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP hands over the open letter, which has been written by the LEPs new initiative, Grow Yorkshire, on behalf of farming and rural communities, to Farming Minister Robert Goodwill. Picture by Scott Merrylees.
David Kerfoot, chairman of the North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP hands over the open letter, which has been written by the LEPs new initiative, Grow Yorkshire, on behalf of farming and rural communities, to Farming Minister Robert Goodwill. Picture by Scott Merrylees.

A detailed action plan is set to be drawn up by leading rural figures in Yorkshire as part of a new initiative to increase support for the region’s farmers and food producers.

Grow Yorkshire, a “pioneering” project that seeks collaboration between Whitehall and rural businesses, was launched in April to make farming a priority at the highest level of Government.

Its ultimate aim is to ensure that food and farming enterprises are supported to thrive in a post-Brexit world.

In order to inform how those businesses can be best served, a Grow Yorkshire steering group will now work up an action plan.

As reported in The Yorkshire Post last month, more than 30 organisations who work with food and farming businesses in the region have signed an open letter to Farming Minister Robert Goodwill, calling for him to ensure the Government’s backing for the project.

Since then, Yorkshire businessman David Kerfoot, who chairs the Grow Yorkshire steering group, has met the Minister, who is also MP for Scarborough and Whitby, to personally deliver the letter and discuss the group’s plans.

The meeting marked a significant milestone in getting the Government to recognise “the priority needs of the sector in the region”, said Mr Kerfoot, who also chairs the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnership which is behind the Grow Yorkshire initiative.

Setting out what happens next, he said: “The next priority for us is working together with our partners to get a detailed action plan in place that will help identify the areas that our local farmers and food producers need our support with.”

Mr Kerfoot added: “We want to ensure that Grow Yorkshire works alongside other programmes looking to influence rural policy. It’s essential that industry voice takes a key role, alongside partners, to identify the issues that are being faced and feed directly into proposing solutions and actions.”