Parliament is currently on its summer recess, this time away from Westminster has allowed Luke to visit farms up and down the country.
These visits will give Luke, in his role as Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, a real insight into farming methods. This will help aide Labour in its scrutiny of the Agriculture Bill and the Trade Bill as they return onto the parliamentary timetable. Luke joined forces with Daniel Zeichner, the Shadow Farming Minister, to visit Hope Farm in south Cambridgeshire.
The RSPB purchased Hope Farm twenty years ago and what began as an experiment has become an example of what the future of farming could look like. The RSPB wanted to show that you can work with nature rather than against it and that there are more environmentally friendly ways of running a farm. And that farms can not only turn a profit but also reverse the decline of farmyard bird species, help butterflies and insects as well as looking after soil health.
Since 2000, Hope Farm has not only reversed the decline of farmyard birds but produced a significant increase with Linnets, Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings and Skylarks all tripling in number since the RSPB purchased the farm two decades ago.
Luke Pollard MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport said:
“Farmers are the original stewards of the countryside. Hope Farm has shown that you can farm sustainably and profitably in nature-friendly ways, building back biodiversity, protecting our natural world and still turning a profit at the end of it.
We have been doing a lot about food and farming recently in Westminster, making the case that we should put food and farming standards in law.
I want to make sure that this farm, and farms like it across the country are not undercut in future trade deals that would allow food produced to lower environmental and animal welfare standards abroad to be sold in the UK.
I will be continuing to make a case for high food and farming standards when Parliament resumes in September. I want Labour to stand up and be the Party of the countryside campaigning for a more sustainable future.”