Farmers from across the County gathered in Melton today (Thursday) to urge the Government to protect British Food Standards in the Agricultural Bill.
They met at Melton Cattle Market in Scalford Road before doing a lap of the town in their tractors including a drive by of the office of Rutland and Melton MP Alicia Kearns.
Around 40 tractors joined the rally getting regular beeps of support from some Melton residents.
This is to highlight concerns that local food brands such as Melton Mowbray pork pies and Stilton cheese will lose their EU geographical protection after Brexit and be under threat of other producers in Europe making copied products.
Liz Webster from Save British Farming who organised the demo said : “We brought our Save British Farming campaign to Melton Mowbray today and loved feeling the community‘s support for British farmers.
People are waking up to the fact this Govt is selling farmers and rural communities down the river. British people do not want low standard produce ruining Britain.”
MP for Rutland and Melton Alicia Kearns said “Since December, I’ve been lobbying the Government to ensure the integrity of our local food and standards are safeguarded long after the Transition Period ends. I secured a place on the Agriculture Bill Committee, as one of a small number of MPs to interrogate the agriculture bill line by line; and I established the All Party Parliamentary Group for Geographically Protected Foods. Having met with farmers every month since I was elected I stand by my commitment to protect our food standards and our farmers, just as I did during the Spring when I was one of the MPs who fought for and secured the Dairy Support Fund for farmers.
“As a result of my advocacy, just last week, the Government announced new rules and logos to protect British foods with geographical significance, granting special status to mark their authenticity and origin in preparation for our departure from the EU. All existing UK products registered under the EU’s GI schemes by the end of the transition period will remain protected under the UK GI schemes.”
Campaign group Save British Farming had organised the demo to oppose the government passing bills which they say will ditch UK animal welfare and environmental standards for imported food and flood the market with low-quality and cheap products, ruining Britain’s farming industry.