Don’t wait for Brexit to promote Yorkshire food and farming – The Yorkshire Post says

THE propensity of Brexit to fuel division is revealed by two totally conflicting interpretations of its impact on Yorkshire’s farming and food industry.

Farm shops are continuing to grow in popularity across Yorkshire.

For, while the GMB union fears that the price of food and drink will “go through the roof” if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, retailers here attribute the burgeoning popularity of farm shops to the swelling of national pride.

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Either way, it is encouraging that there is growing recognition about the importance, and quality, of locally-sourced food a decade after this newspaper led calls for the labelling laws to be tightened so imported meat could not be sold as British produce just because it had been processed here. Changing public attitudes does take time – and there is still much work to do.

It is one reason why it is regrettable that so many issues are seen through the narrow prism of Brexit. Irrespective of the terms of Britain’s future trading relationship with the European Union, politicians – and farming leaders – should be working round-the-clock to promote the UK’s world-leading food industry. This doesn’t need to wait for Brexit.

And with climate change now at the forefront of public and political thinking, the environmental, economic and social case for home-grown produce, and the initiatives put in place by Yorkshire Agricultural Society and its partners, has never been greater – or more opportune.