A group of food and farming organisations have joined forces to boost their influence and activity in Devon.
The stakeholders, which include the NFU, YFC, FWAG, National Trust, Devon Wildlife Trust and Devon County Council, will work together for the benefit of food and farming businesses in the county.
The Devon Farming and Food Board combines the work of Devon County Council and the Devon Rural Network and will co-ordinate practical activity at a county level, integrating strategic and political representation and identifying projects for funding.
It will take on an advisory role, championing the needs and issues within the sector, as well as lobbying and research.
The board is based on the Cornwall Agricultural Council model and will work on animal health and TB, coastal access, nitrate vulnerable zones and other important farming matters.
“It is a positive step and should be a very successful group,” said Leanne Crawford, Devon Rural Network co-ordinator.
Anthony Rew, NFU chairman in Devon, said the first step was to agree priorities between the diverse membership.
“If we can get all these organisations working together we’ll have a much stronger voice.”