Unions welcome new UK Farming Minister

Robert Goodwill has been appointed as the UK’s new Farming Minister following George Eustice’s resignation.

Goodwill has previously described himself as a “staunch Eurosceptic” but supported Remain in the EU referendum.

He has held a string of ministerial positions including Minister of State for Transport, Minister of State for Immigration and most recently, Minister of State for Children and Families.

Aside from his political career, Goodwill runs a 250ac farm near Malton, Yorkshire.

Responding to the announcement that Robert Goodwill MP has been appointed as Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, NFU president Minette Batters said: “I would like to congratulate Robert Goodwill on his appointment as the new Agriculture Minister and I am looking forward to working with him at such a critical time for Britain’s food and farming industry.

“I will be seeking a meeting with Mr. Goodwill as a matter of priority to discuss the pressing issues currently facing farmers and growers, in particular, the impact ongoing Brexit uncertainty is having on farm businesses and the need for Parliament to reach a deal with the EU, avoiding the devastating impacts of a no-deal Brexit.

This is a pivotal time for British farming. The Agriculture Bill currently going through Parliament presents an opportunity to shape agricultural policy for generations to come.

“I will be stressing to the Minister the importance of having food production at the heart of this new policy, alongside measures to protect and enhance our cherished countryside.

“British farmers and growers are ambitious, innovative and up for the challenge of the years ahead. We know that the public take great pride in British food and farming and that is something we have an opportunity to enhance as we move forward.”

CLA president Tim Breitmeyer added: “We know from previous ministerial roles that Robert is willing to listen and engage on the issues that matter and we are looking forward to him continuing the good work of his predecessor and working together to deliver a bright future for the rural economy.

“As a farmer himself he will be all too aware of the major issues and uncertainties landowners and farmers are currently facing across their businesses, and will have an innate understanding of the vital role they play for society as producers of food and stewards of the countryside.

“This can only be a positive thing for our members and the wider farming community.”