Campaign wins top-level support

Farmers Weekly’s Local Food is Miles Better campaign has seen an upsurge in support from politicians after an intense period of lobbying by FW staff.

Farmers Weekly called for the backing of politicians in all of the UK’s political centres and from MEPs in Brussels.

In the Commons the number of MPs signing up to an Early Day Motion, tabled by Conservative MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (Con, Cotswolds), jumped by 35% in under a week.

The motion highlights our campaign, pointing out that buying locally grown food is an excellent way for consumers to reconnect with farmers and develop a better understanding of where their food comes from.

It also calls on supermarkets to promote, stock and label locally-produced food to cut food miles and support local farmers.
The EDM now has 126 backers making it one of the best supported motions currently open.

Politicians in Scotland, Wales and Brussels also responded to the call for them to sign the campaign petition and highlight the Local Food is Miles Better message to colleagues.

In Scotland, John Scott MSP for Ayr, established a motion calling for Scotland’s parliament to back the campaign.

The call quickly won the support of 34 MSPs, which added to an earlier motion by the SNP’s Maureen Watt.

Together they accrued 52 signatures, almost half of the Scottish Parliament.

Meanwhile in Cardiff, Plaid Cymru championed the call for more action on local food with a statement of opinion – the Welsh Assembly equivalent of an early day motion.

And in Brussels Green Party MEP Caroline Lucas publicly endorsed our campaign, calling on supermarkets to stock – and label – more local produce, in line with the wishes of more than 80% of shoppers (News, 12 May).