Tom KerridgeTom Kerridge ©Matthew Taylor/Rex

Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge has backed the NFU’s campaign to promote British food and farming as priority issues in the general election.

The twice Michelin starred chef said he wanted the public to share his views and show their support for the farming sector by signing up to the union’s online campaign.

Mr Kerridge said: “British food is incredibly important, to me personally but also to me on a customer level. I want to be able to trace back my food to where it has come from; provenance for me is hugely important.

“For me British food has that little bit of heart and soul.

“The support we should give to the farmers on this small island of ours is very important. Not only is it about knowing where your food comes from, which I think leads to better quality and high standards, it will also ensure jobs.

He added: “I am supporting my local farmers, which is key to a thriving food sector. We mustn’t take our home-grown food supply for granted.”

The NFU recently published a report which showed that the country’s self-sufficiency in food had declined to just 60% over the past 30 years.

The report forecast that if the decline continued at this rate only half of the nation’s food would be produced on British farms in the next 25 years.

NFU deputy president Minette Batters said: “We know that food and farming is important to many people because 85% have told us they think supermarkets should sell more food produced on British farms.

“And more than three-quarters (77%) think the government should focus more on creating policies that help UK farmers to increase the amount of food Britain produces.”

Ms Batters added: “As a nation, we urgently need to take steps to start increasing our self-sufficiency. That requires long-term investment – there is no overnight solution.

“The government has a role to play to ensure our farmers can be confident in their future, a future where they can invest and grow their business while retailers need to do more to market and sell British food whenever it is in season.”

“We are delighted that Tom has pledged his support and we would urge consumers to do the same.

“They can cast their vote for British food online at Vote British Food and buy British food wherever and whenever they can.

“They can also ask their local MP how will they back British farming?”