THE NFU has welcomed a move by one south west council to support farmers and growers. 

At a full council meeting on February 20, Wiltshire County Council agreed to pass a proposed motion to support the county's farmers by ensuring all catering at council-organised events is, where possible, sourced from local suppliers, including meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables.

As well as this, the council will further enhance its partnerships alongside Wiltshire's arable, livestock and dairy farmers, and encourage the county's residents to shop locally. 

Councillor Nabil Najjar put forward the motion alongside councillor Elizabeth Threlfall. 

“I brought this motion to the council as a way of showing our support for our dedicated farming community at a time when many feel frustrated," Cllr Najjar said. 

“Wiltshire has some fantastic local produce which we should be celebrating, and our excellent farmers, growers and land managers need to know that, as a council, we have their back.

“It is disappointing to see that other councils have sought to peddle anti- livestock rhetoric when voting to ban meat and dairy at their events, and this motion, which includes livestock, dairy, and arable farming, sets out a strong stance in support of all our farmers and our commitment to high-quality produce and strong welfare standards.”

The motion was supported, with 94 councillors voting in favour and three abstentions. 

The NFU are urging other councils to follow in Wiltshire's footsteps. 

Tom Collins, chairman of the Wiltshire branch of the NFU, said: "We – the county’s farmers and growers – are delighted to have the support of Wiltshire County Council.

“I think it is encouraging to see the vital role that farmers and growers play in the county and the importance of eating a balanced diet recognised in this way.

“We would now like to see other public and private organisations following this example and for the public to support local and British farmers by continuing to buy great local produce.”

Wiltshire county adviser, Katie Davies, added: "Thanks to councillors Nabil Najjar and Elizabeth Threlfall for tabling this important motion in support of farmers and growers here in Wiltshire.

"A thriving British farming industry benefits all of us and to have the support of Wiltshire County Council is really important to us and pleasing to see.

"Farmers here in Wiltshire produce healthy, safe, great tasting food and British farmers are renowned for their world leading standards of animal welfare and environmental protection.

"Our farms are key drivers of the economy in our county and overall British food and farming is worth more than £120 billion to the national economy and helps provide jobs for four million people.

"That is something we should all be very proud and something we should remind our politicians of as we head towards a General Election.

"We need practical and progressive policies coming from all political parties, investing in a future where British food and farming can thrive."