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Knight Backs Yorkshire Food & Farming

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight is supporting the National Farmers Union Pride & Provenance campaign which is seeking promote Yorkshire food across the UK.

The campaign, which will be launched at the Yorkshire Show later this month, highlights the fantastic quality of food and drink that comes from Yorkshire farming and its enormous contribution to the regional economy.  Sir Greg backed the campaign at a special Parliamentary reception this week, where it was revealed that if ‘Yorkshire food’ was one company it would be “the largest in the world”.

At the launch Sir Greg met with local East Yorkshire farmers and listened to concerns over food labelling and the threat of banning harmless pesticides  by the EU.

Sir Greg said, “Farming is vital not only for the jobs it provides both in East Yorkshire and across the country but for its crucial contribution Britain’s multi-billion food and drink industry. There are many ways we can all help farming in Yorkshire be even more successful and this Pride & Provenance campaign is one of them”.


Pictured at the Westminster NFU event are Sir Greg Knight MP (left) and Lord Kirkhope of Harrogate

MP Backs Farmers on Proposed Pig Feed Ban

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has pressed the Government to make the case in the EU against banning certain nutrients in piglet feed.

Sir Greg says: “Zinc Oxide is an important additive in piglet feed and it helps piglets thrive. However following pressure from the Governments of France and the Netherlands, bureaucrats in Europe now want to ban it.

Sir Greg has asked farming minister George Eustace to make the case in Europe against the ban. The Minister replied that following UK representations, plans for an EU wide ban are now being reconsidered.

Sir Greg said: “Zinc oxide has a vital role in piglet health and its continued use is vital to the industry. I am pleased that UK Ministers recognise this and I hope common sense will prevail”.

Knight Urges: Back British Farming

“British farmers produce the world’s best food and provide the raw materials to keep 4 million people employed”, according to East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight, who added “It is crucial that we support the industry by ensuring measures are in place to encourage people to join the sector and to give farming a prosperous long-term future”.

Sir Greg made the comments after a meeting outside Parliament with National Farmers Union (NFU) representatives and local farmer Paul Tompkins from Melbourne, East Yorkshire. The NFU had organised a display of first-class British produce – and three massive Massey Ferguson tractors ensured that London commuters noticed the NFU presence in the Capital.

Sir Greg added: “Farming is vital not only for the jobs it provides both in East Yorkshire and across the country but for its crucial contribution Britain’s £108 billion food and drink industry. There are many ways we can all help farming in Britain be even more successful. I am certainly giving my backing the NFU charter”.

The NFU charter calls for excess red-tape to be slashed, farmers to have access to their fair-share of water, investment, research and development, so technologies from the laboratory transfer to the field and policies which encourage farmers to invest in infrastructure.

Pictured: Sir Greg Knight discussing farming issues with East Yorkshire farmer Paul Tompkins at the NFU display outside Parliament this week.

Knight Meets Farming Minister

East Yorkshire MP Sir Greg Knight has met Farming Minister George Eustice MP to discuss farming issues in East Yorkshire.

Sir Greg and Mr Eustice discussed a number of concerns including food labelling, CAP payments and prospects for British agriculture should the UK leaves the EU.

Mr Eustice said Britain would likely keep something similar to the current system but he would allow farmers to enrol automatically rather than having the chaos of an annual application process with a fixed deadline.

He said the existing way of addressing rural development would be completely scrapped if the UK left the EU, meaning the bureaucratic and unnecessary ‘two pillar’ structure would be replaced and higher levels of animal welfare on British farms would be rewarded.

Mr Eustice criticised needing to “wrestle with all sorts of EU regulation” during his time as Defra minister and said that many problems farmers had “stemmed from dysfunctional European regulations over which we have very little power to change”.

Both Sir Greg and the Minister agreed on the multi-billion pound “Brexit dividend”. Sir Greg said: “We could, without a shadow of a doubt find the money to spend £2bn on farming as we currently pay in £13bn annually to the EU”.

Knight Expresses Concern for Pig Industry

East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight, has expressed ‘concerns’ about the state of the British pig industry.

Sir Greg said today: ‘This country is only approximately 40 per cent self sufficient in pork and yet pig farmers are losing up to £10 on every pig they sell as a result of over-supply from the European Union. ‘

Help is needed and with very little effort independent butchers could help. Most customers assume the pork they buy is British, so if butchers are selling cheaper imported products, they should be honest and label it prominently as such.

Restaurants could help too by making a virtue of serving British pork.

And last of all, customers should always make a point of checking the pork, bacon, ham and sausages they buy are British. After all, pork is good value at present as our pig farmers are only being paid at 2007 levels.

If everyone plays their part we can ensure that Britain continues to have a thriving pig industry.

Sir Greg has long-campaigned for better food labelling laws.

Knight Listens to Farmers Concerns

The River Hull Strategy and long term issues with maintenance and management of the whole catchment area were top of the agenda when 20 farmers from Driffield and the NFU met with local MP Sir Greg Knight and MEP Timothy Kirkhope.

Farmers raised the issue of the sunken barge vessels that remain in the River Hull and continue to restrict the water flow and capacity of the watercourse.

In response, Sir Greg said it was important to pursue the River Hull Strategy with vigour and that he would be doing so with parliamentary colleagues. He was firmly of the view that farmers, as well as home owners, should be considered when flood defences were being planned.

“Having met with local farmers, I understand that whilst the recent floods didn’t badly affect East Yorkshire they highlighted the need for East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the Environment Agency and other stakeholders to progress with the outcomes of the River Hull Strategy,” he said. “I think there is a strong case now to push the government for a monetary commitment to more river maintenance.”

Other issues raised at the meeting included the delays in Basic Payment Scheme payments and the effect this is having on the agricultural industry and wider rural economy. Farmers also raised frustrations at the complexity of Natural England’s new Countryside Stewardship Scheme. This complexity, they argued makes the scheme very inaccessible and as a result, there has been incredibly low uptake nationally.

Timothy Kirkhope MEP used the opportunity to talk about the the Agricultural Markets Task Force, designed to support farmers in their dealings with the food supply chain.

After the meeting, NFU Group Secretary Andrew Scott said: “We had a great turnout of local members and this gave them the chance to raise flooding and other issues directly with their MP and MEP,” he said.
“Such meetings are always useful and we are lucky to have the opportunity to discuss key farming issues on a regular basis with our elected representatives.”

MPs Meet Local Farmers

East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight and Yorkshire & Humber MEP Timothy Kirkhope have met with local farmers and officers from the National Farmers Union to hear concerns about the future of agriculture.

The meeting took place on a farm near Burton Fleming, near Bridlington and was attended by a number of local farmers together with regional representatives of the NFU.

Concerns raised with the MPs included the current tax system, the reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy and a discussion took place about new initiatives to boost tourism.

Bridlington’s MP Greg Knight said afterwards: “It was a constructive meeting and was well worthwhile. I intend raising the issues discussed with the Rural Affairs Minister Owen Paterson MP early next week”.

Member of the European Parliament Timothy Kirkhope agreed that the meeting was worthwhile and he undertook to feedback concerns raised to the European Commission.

Knight Backs Local Farmers to Boost the Economy

East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight is urging the public to back Britain’s farmers, to help boost the UK economy and drive economic growth in Britain.

“Farming underpins the UK’s largest manufacturing sector, the food and drink industry, which employs 3.5 million people and is the UK’s fourth largest exporting sector”, says Mr Knight.

He is backing a new campaign by the National Farmers Union urging shoppers to look for the ‘red tractor’ symbol which guarantees that a product is British and has been produced to strict standards. Greg said, “Britain’s farmers contribute a huge amount to our economy, our food security and our countryside. Our farmers observe animal welfare and hygiene standards which are in many cases much higher than their competitors abroad. Shoppers should seek out ‘red tractor’ products and buy with confidence, knowing they are getting excellent British produce”.

Mr Knight added, “Currently just 60% of the food consumed in Britain is produced here so we have a huge opportunity for growth. Studies show that for every £1 that farming contributes to the UK economy, food manufacturers and wholesalers contribute a further £5, so by buying British food we are all doing our bit to help our country”.

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