The NFU has launched a major new campaign to explain why farming is becoming more, not less, important to Britain today.

Called “Why Farming Matters” the campaign is intended to de-bunk the notion that mainstream food production can be allowed to migrate to other parts of the world.

The union has produced a report which argues that in a world where food supplies will come under pressure from an increasing population and climate change, Britain can no longer expect to be able to buy food cheaply from around the world if it allows its own farming capacity to run down.

It also points out that farming is a force for good in the British countryside and society.

Launching the report at a dinner on Monday night (11 December), NFU president Peter Kendall said: “For far too long, the importance of farming to Britain has been at best taken for granted and, at worst, been written off as irrelevant and out of date.

“We believe that for all sorts of reasons… this is a dangerous notion that needs to be challenged.”

Mr Kendall stressed that the campaign was not an extended begging letter for government intervention in the market place.

“Given a fair competitive environment and proportionate regulation, farmers and growers are more than capable of taking the industry forward themselves,” he said.

The Why Farming Matters report is being sent to MPS, NGOs, leading academics and trade associations.

Posters, stickers, reports, leaflets and beer mats will also be made available to members of the general public who are invited to visit the website www.whyfarmingmatters.co.uk