The Suffolk Show never fails to deliver and this year was another incredible bumper year for the county's flagship event at Trinity Park this week. Kicking off a busy schedule, I was pleased to meet with senior representatives from the NFU to talk about the organisations' aims and ambitions for British agriculture post-Brexit. Key issues which featured highly on the agenda were trade deals and tariffs, allowing British agriculture to compete effectively with its overseas counterparts, but access to a competent and reliable workforce was highlighted as a key concern with further clarity required around seasonal workforces from the EU and beyond.
I regularly meet with our farmers and food producers here in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and I am looking forward to welcoming a delegation to Westminster later in the autumn of this year.
It was a real pleasure to visit the team at Easton and Otley College, who invited me along to talk about their plans and exciting developments at the Otley Campus. Aside from driving a virtual reality combine harvester, I also enjoyed taking part in the speed reaction challenge, run by the Uniformed Public Services team. The entire team were bursting with pride and enthusiasm and I am very much looking forward to visiting the Campus again soon to learn more.
So much great work goes on at the Suffolk Show to educate our children and young people on the importance of not only eating well – a healthy and balanced diet, but also eating locally and seasonally. The "Farm to Fork" initiative helps to raise awareness of how our food is produced and ultimately reaches our homes; this is so important in not only reducing the number of miles our food travels before it reaches our plates, but also in helping the environment and reducing carbon emissions.
I was especially pleased to see so many thriving businesses in attendance from Central Suffolk and North Ipswich and hope that they all had a very successful show. Although I didn't get to visit everyone, it was great to see such diversity – from food and drink producers to agricultural firms, and home and lifestyle businesses to canine enterprises, we are incredibly lucky to have such a creative and innovative workforce right here in Central Suffolk.
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