Farming and Countryside

3rd November 2017

We are blessed in Devon with a beautiful landscape on our doorstep tended by dedicated people who truly care for the environment. Our farmers are the custodians of our countryside and landscape; they look after the land, protect wildlife, create new habitats and produce the raw ingredients to feed the nation.

Whether it’s shepherding flocks on the moors, managing the land and coping with the sudden changes in weather on Dartmoor, the farming community’s deep knowledge of the land, passed down through the generations, is the key to the continuing conservation of these very special places.

For that reason, one of my priorities since last year’s referendum has been to secure the continuing adherence to our high standards in farming, food and fishing following our departure from the European Union.

It is essential that withdrawal brings with it protections for our farmers, determination in resolving the challenges which arise and a readiness to explore the opportunities presented in the future.

This will allow us to build on what we have already achieved. Since 2010, hundreds of new overseas markets have been opened to British food and farm products and in 2016 exports of food and drink grew by almost 10 per cent to a record figure of more than £20 billion.

To inform future policy, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is engaging with farmers, environmentalists, members of the public and other stakeholders to hear their views, concerns and ambitions for the future. He attended the Chagford Show over the summer and is keen to hold a forum with West Devon’s farmers, which I will convene, in the near future.

We will soon be presented with an opportunity to tailor our policies to the needs of our farmers, precious habitats and wildlife instead of following a one size fits all approach. As a rural MP, I will be vigilant in ensuring future plans maintain sustainability and high standards at the forefront.

I am determined to see our food producers freed to grow more, sell more and export more great British food, while upholding our high standards for plant and animal health and welfare. Our best days as a food and farming nation still alie ahead of us.

Surgery Dates

Geoffrey holds regular surgeries. To book an appointment please click here or call 01822 612925.
Saturday 28th July
Bideford, Torrington
Saturday 8th September
Holsworthy, Tavistock