Farming Life: A missed opportunity to support producers - NBA
15th July 2020
In an open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, the National Beef Association (NBA) has praised the new ‘Eat out to help out’ initiative, but feels that an opportunity has been missed to help UK food producers.
The letter, sent to Mr Sunak’s office on Monday 13th July by NBA Interim CEO Mr Neil Shand on behalf of NBA members, welcomes the government’s announcements to stimulate the recovery of the economy by providing incentives.
However, Mr Shand writes: “We do feel that you have perhaps missed an opportunity to go one step further and to help our food producers – both beef farmers whom we represent, and the wider agriculture industry in general.
“Perhaps now is the time for the public and the service sector to thank their food producers by lending their support in some small way. It would be a way of showing the country’s appreciation to those who have worked tirelessly to feed the nation if the Government were to apply some pressure to the pubs and restaurants who will benefit from the extra funding.”
He adds: “Please can you ensure that they buy local and support local producers.”
The NBA believes a well-devised PR campaign to stipulate that eateries source their food from within the UK would give the financial incentives, ultimately paid for by the UK tax-payer, a double benefit, helping to secure jobs within the industry and providing a well-deserved ‘thank you’ to those who have worked so hard to help us through this crisis.
Acknowledging the great resurgence of patriotism in recent months, which has helped during the dark times, Mr Shand says: “If we are to emerge from this crisis as a united and stronger nation, we need to pull together, making use of our inherent strengths and helping each other where possible to recover our economy.”
The National Beef Association remains the only dedicated voice for British Beef Farmers. Its mission is to continually promote and support the UK beef industry at all levels, including the organisation of Beef Expo event every year. The organisation also engages with the Government and Devolved Administrations to defend the interest of beef farmers across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.