Priti welcomes Environment Secretary to Tiptree
Witham MP Priti Patel has welcomed the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove MP, to the world famous Wilkin and Sons site in Tiptree today.
The Secretary of State toured the site, visiting the jam-making factory and seeing fruit picking on the farms before holding discussions with Joint Managing Director Chris Newenham, representatives from the National Farmers Union in Essex and local farmers about the future of farming, seasonal workers and food exports.
Witham MP Priti Patel said:
“I am delighted that the Secretary of State has come to Tiptree to meet with Wilkin and Sons and local farmers to discuss the future of food, farming and agriculture. Britain. With Britain leaving the EU it is important that the Government ensures that our farmers and food producers benefit from the changes that this will bring about. There are some big opportunities to reform the way we support food production with our own domestic replacement for the CAP and a chance to make the sector more competitive and profitable.”
“Essex is an agricultural powerhouse with great farms and world famous businesses like Wilkin and Sons. It is important that the Government listens to our views on the future of farming and I was pleased to discuss a number of key issues with the Secretary of State, including the recent announcement on seasonal workers.”
The Secretary of State commented:
“It was a pleasure to visit Tiptree Farm today for a valuable discussion with local farmers and businesses about how we can make agriculture as successful and innovative as possible.
“The two year seasonal pilot announced this week will help farms like this one and ease the workforce pressures that are felt during the busiest months of the year.
“Our upcoming Agriculture Bill also provides a golden opportunity to bring farming back under domestic control after almost 50 years under EU rules. We will be saying more on this very shortly.”
Chris Newenham said:
“We were delighted to welcome the Environment Secretary to our farm at Tiptree. Following a brief tour of our fruit production we had a broad discussion with a group of local farmers covering: cheap food, producer organisations, flood defences, irrigation licencing and more crucially, given yesterday’s announcement by the Home Secretary, the details of the proposed pilot scheme for seasonal workers.
“We welcome the announcement and we’re certainly keen to understand more about the proposed length of the “season” which the scheme covers, which countries can be used to source seasonal workers and the number of participants in the pilot.”