Labour conference: Benn vows to support farmers

DEFRA secretary Hilary Benn has vowed to support UK farmers to help them meet the challenge of producing as much food as they can.

Speaking at the Labour party conference in Brighton yesterday (28 September), Mr Benn said increases in population meant it was vital the British countryside produced more food.

And he told delegates the government needed to continue to work with the industry to help protect soil and water to allow farmers to increase production.

“We’re working together to protect the environment, beat animal diseases and tackle climate change,” he said.

“Our farmers – at the heart of our rural communities – are ready for the challenge. And we should support them in the great job they do.”

He said the incumbent government had already taken steps to preserve and protect the British landscape and was keen to continue its work.

“It was this Labour Government that has opened up the countryside for everyone to enjoy with the right to roam.  We’ve passed the first all-embracing animal welfare act for a century and in just over two years’ time battery cages for chickens will be no more.

“Our next task is to enrich and link together more wonderful places where wildlife, bees, flowers and trees can flourish, and we can enjoy them as they do.

Setting out the choice to voters, Mr Benn urged delegates to “take the fight to the Tories”.

“The Tory choice is a return to fox hunting, cutting inheritance tax while cutting Sure Start which has done so much for my constituents in Leeds,” he said.

“The Labour choice is to build more homes, help people into work, make sure we come out of the recession stronger and together create a more sustainable way of life.”

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