Farmers protest: Westminster surrounded by tractors 

Hundreds of tractors took part in a go-slow farmer protest in London yesterday, demanding UK food security.

Photo credit : Fairness For Farmers 

On Monday, 25th March, protesters moved through our capital’s streets to get to Westminster for the planned evening demonstration. 

British farmers have voiced their dissatisfaction with UK food policy, substandard imports and stricter food labelling regulations

Protesters were flying the Union Jack flags and carrying signs with phrases such as ‘Save British farming’ and ‘No farming, No food, No future’. 

Key asks

Liz Webster, founder of campaign group Save British Farming, which organised the protest, said that the rally aimed to highlight three key asks: that the government acts to block substandard imports, puts an end to ‘dishonest’ food labelling, and takes more action to address food security. 

She added: “People are now waking up to the fact that without farmers and land, which is safeguarded for food production, there will be no food.

“This government has not listened so we have to do something positive to protect British food or where is it going to come from? Imports will only get more expensive and just saying vertical farming is the answer is frankly for the birds.”

Founder of campaign group Save British Farming, Liz Webster.

The protest at Parliament Square was not the first farmer demonstration. A number of protests have been happening around the country, including one in Canterbury, Kent, a go-slow demonstration at the port of Dover, and a demonstration at Tesco Extra in Whitfield. 

Raising awareness of UK food security

Geoffrey Philpott, a cauliflower farmer in East Kent who brought three tractors to the rally, said: “We should be banning substandard imports that aren’t held to the same high standards as UK production. In many cases, they are produced using methods and chemicals that are banned in the UK.     

“I am proud to have a Union Jack on all my produce, but why is it foreign produce that is packed in the UK can have a Union Jack on it? The only reason is to deceive the public into believing it’s the healthiest and safest food you can buy.” 

Another farmer from East Kent, Matt Cullen, said he attended the protest to raise awareness of UK food security, which has been a worry for many farmers. 

He added: “It’s now time that farmers across the UK come together to ensure that the government will listen to us. There are more of us than there are of them.” 

Photo credit : Fairness For Farmers 

Welsh farmers hit the streets

At the end of February, Welsh farmers hosted a huge protest in Cardiff to show their dissatisfaction with the Welsh Government’s proposal for the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS). 

Under the new scheme, farmers would be required to allocate 10% of their lands to planting trees and another 10% to wildlife habitat creation. 

The proposal may cause 5,500 job losses for the farming community, and it can significantly impact farm incomes. 

READ MORE : Thousands of wellies on display at Senedd in protest of SFS policy proposals

READ MORE : Pig industry questions Defra’s plans to change food labelling rules

Read more political news.

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