The National Sheep Association (NSA) is calling on the Government to provide meaningful support to aid the survival of small and medium sized businesses relating to farming and food.
From agricultural seed companies to livestock processors, NSA is highlighting how frequently large companies are increasingly dominating agricultural markets, compared to many smaller firms traditionally playing an important part in the sector.
NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said: “Although newly announced energy support packages will have come as welcome relief for many, the Government must realise the ongoing severity of the situation.
“As an industry, there is a desperate need to support small and medium sized businesses to ensure that there is capacity and a service for rural locations at a time when interest in localising supply chains is growing.”
The Government Food Strategy – published in June – outlines a range of aspirations to improve the food systems within the UK.
Mr Stocker added: “As outlined in the Government’s Food Strategy, it is a key component that healthy and sustainable food should be sourced as locally as possible, yet the capacity to do this is escaping communities quicker than government policy can be enacted.
“NSA urges the Government to support and incentivise the investment in our own supply chain infrastructure before it is too late. It is disappointing to see the disconnect in government farming schemes often incentivising diversification and local sourcing yet there is little to no action in maintaining the means to deliver these outcomes.”