Our farmers produce fantastic food for our county and further afield. They are an integral part of what makes our part of Devon the best place to live, work, and visit.

I was pleased to meet the Down Family recently at their farm in Talaton to discuss the egg production sector. This was followed by one of my regular farming roundtables at Talaton Village Hall with farmers from across the area.

And last week, I met with Farming Minister, Mark Spencer MP, and National Farmers’ Union President, Minette Batters, in Parliament on Back British Farming Day.

The picture on the ground is mixed. While feed and fertiliser costs have started to return to more normal levels, unseasonably wet weather, low farmgate milk prices, and falling beef and lamb prices in the summer have been challenges.

As we move away from the EU’s bureaucratic land-based payments system towards new Environmental Land Management schemes, it's crucial farmers are listened to. That's why I've been holding roundtables in East Devon giving local farmers the opportunity to talk to senior officials from the Rural Payments Agency and Defra. The Sustainable Farming Incentive 2023 is now accepting applications, with 23 actions on offer such as soil health.

This government continues to back East Devon's farmers with support such as the Farming Investment Fund, which recently paid out over £120k locally in grants.

British people clearly value our farmers. A new NFU survey reveals that 86 per cent of the public want to buy more British food.

I firmly believe that farmers' high-quality British produce deserves VIP status and must be easily identifiable to shoppers. That’s why I’ve signed Luke Evans MP’s public letter calling for supermarkets to introduce a ‘Buy British’ button on their websites. I’m delighted the government has endorsed the campaign. Supermarkets must make it easier for the millions of consumers who prefer to their food shop online to buy homegrown produce and support farmers. I hope that the supermarkets will respond to the widespread demand for this simple change.

Please always support local and back British farmers. We couldn’t live without them.