British poultry farmers welcome Secretary of State Michael Gove’s commitment to uphold our ‘Great British Food Values’ and put British food at the heart of public procurement, while speaking at the British Poultry Council’s Annual Reception at the House of Commons on 5th December.

Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, congratulated British poultry meat farmers for feeding the nation with safe, nutritious and affordable food and achieving great levels of success without receiving subsidy through the Common Agricultural Policy. He said:

“British poultry meat industry is a real success story and one that we at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are committed to celebrate. British poultry farmers uphold high animal welfare and environmental standards which are successfully implemented across the country day after day. Our department is determined to champion and uphold everything that you’ve achieved and to ensure that your success story is written in even bolder colours for generations to come.”

“We know that poultry meat production is one of the most carbon efficient ways of ensuring that healthy animal protein can find its way onto the consumer’s kitchen table. Britain maintains the highest animal welfare standards in every area, particularly in poultry production. We cannot compromise on these welfare standards as we pursue new trade deals. We will not compete to a race to the bottom. We will win in a global marketplace by stressing the vital importance of quality.”

Addressing BPC’s calls for public procurement for British food to give confidence to British farmers and consumers, Michael Gove said:

“We are going to ensure that British procurement driven by a Government liberated from the European Union procurement rules puts British agricultural production at the heart of the food that we buy for our school children, for our soldiers and for our civil servants.

Acknowledging the exceptional contribution of people working in the poultry meat sector (60% of which are EU nationals) towards feeding the nation, Michael Gove said:

“We will do everything we can to ensure that the skilled workers that are currently here from so many nations, those who ensure that British Poultry sets the global standards, can stay here and that new labour in the future, wherever it is required, can come here to ensure that this success story can continue for decades to come.”

British Poultry Council Chairman, John Reed, launched BPC’s Annual Report: A Manifesto for Great British Food Values, in the presence of Secretary of State Michael Gove.

In its report, the British Poultry Council is calling on the Government to commit to:

  • Prioritising British food in public procurement
  • No dilution of health and welfare standards; both in home production and trade.
  • Securing EU markets and opening third-country markets for trade
  • Introducing fiscal incentives for investments in infrastructure, innovation, and green technology
  • Creating flexibility in the use of apprenticeship funding to build skills and jobs for UK workers.
  • Building a flexible visa system that allows migrant labour where UK labour simply isn’t available.

The event was attended by George Eustice, Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries as well as Neil Parish MP for Tiverton and Honiton; alongside other parliamentarians