An NFU drive to encourage people to buy British produce to secure our farming future and tackle the economic recession is being launched next week.

“Farming Delivers for Britain”, a major new long-term campaign backed by the NFU, NFU Mutual and Red Tractor, will carry the simple message – Make it British, Make it local, Make it happen.

The campaign will target consumers and focus on six key areas at the heart of agriculture: providing food, environmental benefits, economic growth, clean energy, careers and world-class animal welfare standards.

NFU president Peter Kendall will take to the River Thames on a farm-themed boat, which will carry him to the House of Commons to launch the campaign on Monday (21 May).

“Today is about showcasing what farming delivers for Britain,” Mr Kendall will say.

“We want to continue building on today’s (farming) good news story by working with the government to replace what can be piecemeal and contradictory approaches to food and farming.

“To ensure there are policies in place that see the UK becoming more self-sufficient; protecting its own food supply and building on today’s economic success story for the future prosperity and wellbeing of this country.”

Mr Kendall will urge consumers to reverse the trend that has seen Britain’s self-sufficiency in food fall to 60% – a 15% drop since 1991.

A report has been published to highlight the aims of the campaign, which will be available on the website

The study includes detailed statistics on agriculture, including:

* In 2011, farming added £8.84bn by Gross Value Added to the UK economy – a 25% increase on 2010

* Food and drink exports rose for the seventh successive year in 2011, by 11% to more than £12bn, making it Britain’s fourth largest exporting sector

* About 7m ha of farmland in England and Wales – around 70% – is managed under an agri-environment scheme

* 78,000 farmers and growers are part of the Red Tractor Assurance chain

* By 2027, Britain’s population is set to reach 70m – that’s more than seven million extra mouths to feed

* According to Lantra, British farming will need to recruit at least 6,000 new entrants every year up to 2020 to replace those leaving.

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