Food and Farming: Employment Opportunities — [Mr Charles Walker in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 25th April 2017.

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Photo of Derek Thomas Derek Thomas Conservative, St Ives 2:30 pm, 25th April 2017

I beg to move,

That this House
has considered employment opportunities in food and farming.

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Walker. The agricultural sector is essential to the social, environmental, cultural and economic landscape of this great nation. Food production and farming not only make a valuable contribution to feeding the nation but provide employment, help preserve and maintain our beautiful countryside, and contribute to tourism.

Agriculture is the bedrock of the UK food and drink sector. It is the largest manufacturing sector in the UK, providing 3.9 million jobs and opportunities across the country. Some 476,000 people are employed on agricultural holdings across the UK, including full-time, part-time and seasonal workers. In west Cornwall, my neck of the woods, the agricultural sector’s contribution is hugely important, accounting for £1.4 billion of the south-west’s economic output, 8,800 businesses and 27,300 employees. Working in farming or fishing can be an exciting career choice, offering a huge variety of opportunities for highly skilled and ambitious people. It is a global industry that uses cutting-edge technology, innovates constantly and makes important contributions to the national economy.