THE Country Land and Business Association has reacted to news that a Conservative Government would guarantee to match the current annual budget available to farmers through the next Parliament.

Mark Bridgeman, president of the Country Land and Business Association, said: “If elected, this pledge would provide much-needed certainty to farmers across the country, and should be seen as a first step towards the long-term security we have been calling for since the EU referendum.

"Farmers work incredibly hard to provide high quality food for the nation and beyond, as well as leading the fight against climate change and the loss of biodiversity.

“It is now vital that the political parties go a step further, guaranteeing British farmers will be supported during future trade negotiations so that they are not undercut by cheap imports produced to lower standards.”

Profitable and sustainable farming is a fundamental pillar to the CLA’s Rural Powerhouse campaign, which seeks to unlock the potential of the rural economy.

At present the rural economy is 16 percent less productive than the national average, the CLA says, and if this productivity gap could be closed then £43bn could be added to the national economy.