Meurig Raymond and Michael GoveMeurig Raymond and Michael Gove © NFU

MPs in parliament are wearing special pin badges made from wheat and wool to show their support for British farming.

Dozens of MPs are expected to wear the badges during Prime Minister’s Questions on Back British Farming Day (Wednesday, 13 September).

Organised by the NFU, the day is a rallying call to encourage MPs to use their position in Westminster to support British farming – particularly during Brexit negotiations.

See also: Tractors drive farming message home to MPs

The Back British Farming pin badges are made from British wheat and wool to represent the “horn and corn” elements of British farming.

The union is also asking MPs to sign a 10-point pledge promising to work to ensure British farmers retain the best possible access to overseas markets, both inside and outside the EU.

The Back British Farming pledge asks MPs to be an advocate for British farming and drive some of the highest standards in the world for animal welfare.

It also asks them to safeguard the rules governing imports to ensure consumers enjoy the same high standards from imported food and drink as those adhered to by British farmers.

Profitable farming

And it reminds MPs that a productive, profitable and progressive farming sector is the best way to secure the rural economy.

Politicians should support a domestic farm policy that invests in the food and farming sector so it becomes increasingly productive, profitable and sustainable, says the pledge.

MPs should implement policies that are science- and evidence-based to create the right regulatory environment for British food and farming, it adds.

Defra secretary Michael Gove has already confirmed he will be wearing one of the badges, which have been sent to all MPs ahead of the event.

NFU president Meurig Raymond welcomed Mr Gove’s pledge, saying: “This support will be critical for the farming sector as Brexit negotiations get under way.”

Champion agriculture

Mr Raymond said it was vital Mr Gove remained true to his commitment to agriculture and encouraged other government ministers to champion British farming too.

The Labour shadow cabinet is also supporting the day.

Emphasising that agriculture must be a central part of the political conversation, Mr Raymond added: “We must ensure farming in this country has a thriving future outside of the EU.”

Back British Farming Day was an opportunity to engage with MPs to ensure decisions taken in parliament reflected the importance of British food and farming to the nation, he said.