The Liberal Democrats have called on the Government to set up a dedicated contingency fund for farmers during the Covid-19 crisis, supporting more than 4,500 farms across Cornwall
Writing to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron warned farmers are a “vital cog in the UK’s response to this pandemic” and urged the Government to take very measure to support farmers to “concentrate fully on producing food”.
As part package of proposals alongside a dedicated contingency fund, the former Liberal Democrat leader has urged the Government to postpone the reduction of Basic Payments to farmers from January 2021 and relax the cosmetic standards for food.
Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron said:
“Our farmers are a vital cog in the UK’s response to this pandemic. In the country’s interest, we must do all we can to ensure they can concentrate fully on producing food.
“That is why Liberal Democrats are calling for an urgent dedicated contingency fund for farmers. Now is also the time postpone the new reforms such as the Basic Payments to farmers and relax the cosmetic standards for food.”
Adam Paynter, Lib Dem Deputy Leader of Cornwall Council said:
“As a farmer myself I am deeply concerned about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic could have on our farming industry and, given panic buying in stores, the extended food chain.
“Like all businesses, without government support our farmers will struggle. We have seen recent reductions in prices for dairy, beef and lamb in Cornwall. That’s why Liberal Democrats are calling for contingency fund to support farms across Cornwall.”