Minister highlights link between food, farming and climate during a visit to Devon.
Published: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 02:00:00
The Rt. Hon. David Miliband, MP Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has visited Devon to see first hand how climate change is affecting the countryside, and to learn more about the Region's farming industry and local food production.
Mr Miliband said his visit to Devon had given him a valuable opportunity to hear from local farmers and producers, and to discuss a shared agenda for the future. The visit, partly hosted by the Country Land and Business Association, also enabled Mr Miliband to learn more about local land management issues.
The Secretary of State said:
"The excellent examples I have seen in Devon, from efforts to promote small scale, high quality local food and drink, to bio-energy and the high-tech, cutting edge climate research carried out at the Met Office's Hadley Centre, demonstrate just some of the valuable work already underway in the South West. "I believe the successful future of farming depends on a new partnership between farmers and government to shape agriculture for the next decade and beyond. "By adopting a 'one planet approach' to the way we live and farm, we can minimise the impact on the environment of food production and consumption and maximise its contribution to renewal of the natural environment.
Mr Miliband Continued:
"I am grateful to the Country, Land and Business Association for their contribution to this visit." During his tour, Mr Miliband visited the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, based in Exeter. The centre develops computer models to help understand the climate system and predict future regional and global climate change, as well as monitoring actual changes in the world's climate.
The Secretary of State also visited Winscott Barton, a state-of-the-art dairy farm at Newton St Cyres, near Exeter, where he discussed ways of bringing new capital into the farming industry and helping entrepreneurs grow their business ideas.
Mr Miliband attended a lunch hosted by Taste of the West at the Clinton Devon Estates office in East Budleigh, near Budleigh Salterton, where he met local food producers and industry representatives and discussed local food initiatives, including campaigning and marketing ideas.
The visit also included a visit to Victoria Sawmills in Colaton Raleigh to see a recently installed bio-diesel plant, and a visit to Woodbury Common where Clinton Estates showed him nature conservation, land management and public access work at Pebblehead Heaths.
See also on our website
Regional Parliamentary and Private Office
Government Office for the South West
24 Sutton Road
tel: 01752 635055
fax: 01752 635005