THE FURNESS MP hosted a round table discussion along with the Minister of State for Food, Farming and Fisheries in the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs.

Minister Mark Spencer was joined by local NFU representatives James Airey and Natalie Edmondson, and more than a dozen local farmers at Nettleslack Farm, Broughton Beck, which is owned and operated by John Longmire and his family.

In a roundtable discussion lasting for more than an hour, the Minister introduced some of the government’s policies and thoughts looking ahead to future trade deals, environmental policies, and the future of farming in the UK.

Mr Spencer, a dairy farmer himself, said: “It has been fantastic to hear firsthand some of the challenges of farming here in the Lake District, and some of the help and support that the government can give.

“We’re helping farmers along that journey to continue to produce great food, to continue to manage our beautiful landscape to keep the tourists coming to this part of the world, and I want to thank farmers for their good work, and I urge people to continue supporting them, and Simon Fell MP.”

Mr Fell, said: “It’s been great having Mark here to chat so candidly with and to listen carefully to farmers in Furness.

“My thanks to James and Natalie from the NFU for everything that they do, and for helping to coordinate this meeting, and to John and his family for hosting us on his stunning farm here in Broughton Beck.

“As part of our plan to level up Furness, we are all working together to ensure that farmers get the support that they need, to benefit from trade deals, so that they can export our fantastic food and dairy products to the world. “Farmers had a fantastic opportunity to be candid with the Minister, and civil servants from the department today to help shape policy going forward so that farmers get the best deal possible.”

James Airey (NFU representative) said: “We’re extremely grateful to the Minister for visiting us in Cumbria today. He’s been touring the county, chatting to our members, and listening firsthand to them about the many challenges and opportunities they face daily."