A RURAL organisation which works in the interests of Ashbourne landowners has welcomed an environmental boss’ backing of British fruit and vegetable producers.
Environment minister Owen Paterson recently said consumers should buy British fruit and vegetables to help the economy and urged consumers to think about where their produce was from.
The Country Land Association rural adviser Donna Tavernor said: “Mr Paterson is right to highlight the major issue of buying British at a key time for the economy.
“Last month’s CLA/Smiths Gore Rural Economy Index showed the rural economy is firmly in recovery as growth and confidence has spread from non-farming business to the farming sector.
“A small shift in consumers’ buying habits for all types of food will make a huge difference to long-term economic recovery across the board and will particularly benefit people in rural areas.” Mr Paterson said: “There is opportunity for farmers, manufacturers and the government to promote UK produce.
“By buying seasonal fruit and veg we can improve the nation’s health, help the environment and boost the economy.
“British farmers and food producers grow some of the best food in the world here - so why is 24 per cent of the food eaten in the UK imported when it could be produced here?”