TAUNTON Deane Conservative MP Rebecca Pow attended an NFU event in Parliament followed by a reception at 10 Downing Street on Back British Farming Day to highlight the role farmers play in feeding the nation.

But Gideon Amos, who is standing against her for the LibDems at the next General Election, accused the Government of betraying our farming industry.

Ms Pow said the Government has announced measures to help people 'buy British' and provide farmers with cashflow to invest in their businesses.

She backs calls to signpost customers to ‘buy British’ when they shop online and will support campaigns to endorse the taste and quality of homegrown meat and dairy products.

“Coming from a long line of farming stock, I fully appreciate the role our farmers play come rain or shine to put food on our tables and to care for the environment and they deserve to be celebrated," said Ms Pow.

"I’m especially pleased to support the drive to encourage buying British and where possible procuring from our local farmers.

"This is an exciting time of change for our farming industry as we transition away from the EU system that simply paid farmers for owning or managing land to our new schemes that pay them for delivering public services such as delivering healthy soil, reducing use of conventional pesticides, providing water services and much more.

"The new Sustainable Farming Incentive will soon be underway, and I would urge all appropriate farmers to consider applying."

She added: "I am delighted that £220,000 has recently been awarded to a number of farmers in Taunton Deane who applied for the first round of the Animal Health and Welfare Equipment and Technology grants.

"This will help farmers to invest in items ranging from livestock handling equipment to automated monitoring systems in efforts to improve animal health, boost productivity and encourage sustainable food production."

Mr Amos said: “The Conservatives are simply trying here to distract attention from their betrayal our farming industry.

"I spent my school holidays labouring on a farm here in the West Country and I know how much hard work goes in.

"The government, in agreeing to cheap food imports from Australia in the agreement that’s now coming into force, simply ‘gave away far too much for far too little in return’, according to George Eustice, Ms Pow’s former colleague at the Environment Department.

"As the then Conservative agriculture minister who helped negotiate it, he should know. The NFU has agreed that British farmers ‘have very little to gain’.

"The fact that someone no doubt will make a quick buck is all that seems to matter to the modern Conservative Party, when it comes to the rest of us they just don’t care.

"It’s getting harder and harder to see why anyone in their right mind would support the Conservatives when it comes to food and farming”.