Valerie attends West Midlands NFU event in Parliament

To celebrate the diversity of farming and growing in the West Midlands region, I attended the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) event in Parliament on Tuesday 11 June.

I have previously raised the work of the NFU at Business Questions and their new ‘Home-grown Heartland’ campaign highlights the NFU’s work with local farmers to meet commitments to the health and well-being of our communities and the environment.

Food produced by farmers in the countryside is integrally dependent on food manufacturing operations in more urban areas and vice versa.

Besides managing the working countryside, environment and contributing to our health, well-being and communities, farmers also give support to the wider supply chain by buying feed, fuel and fertiliser.

The event was an opportunity for both local food and drink manufacturers and farmers to meet with MPs to talk about their businesses.

Farming in the West Midlands region directly employs 40,000 people, whose work contributes £800 million to the economy, with a gross farming output of around £2 billion. The area is a major producer of a wide variety of goods, including 65% of the UK’s asparagus and 10% of total wheat production. This is the ‘Home-grown Heartland’ of the UK.

Attending the event with NFU staff were Staffordshire dairy farmer David Brookes, Debbie Pitt of Shropshire-based PDM Salad Growers, asparagus and cereal farmer Caroline Hulland and Paul Curran of Herefordshire-based Avra Foods.

Robert Newberry, the NFU West Midlands regional director said: “With a growing global population, changing dietary trends and environmental challenges, farmers and growers in the West Midlands are in a prime position to help tackle these issues.”

“Farming and growing across the West Midlands impacts on everyone’s lives and contributes to even the most urban of communities.”

You can learn more about the work of the NFU and the importance of farming to the West Midlands here. []