22 AUGUST 2019 - Page 19



FARM WEEK
NEWS
NOVEMBER 09 2017
19
Water essential for UK food production
G
SUPPORT: Ulster Farmers’ Union president Barclay Bell and pig farmer Malcolm Pollock, Garvagh, with
representatives from Cranswick Country Foods, Ballymena, launching Cranswick’s sponsorship of Bank of
Ireland Open Farm Weekend.
PICTURE: Cliff Donaldson
Cranswick Country
Foods new sponsor
of Bank of Ireland
Open Farm Weekend
B
ANK of Ireland Open Farm Weekend
has acquired a new sponsor, leading
pork processor Cranswick Country
Foods.
Bank of Ireland Open Farm
Weekend Chairman and UFU President
Barclay Bell welcomed the new sponsorship,
stating: “We are delighted to have the support
of Cranswick Country Foods and look forward
to working in partnership with them during
Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2018. As
a leading pork processor, their involvement
will help us to tell the complete farm to fork
story and promote the local agri-food industry
across Northern Ireland.
“In order to keep Bank of Ireland Open Farm
Weekend events free to the public, we rely
heavily on all our sponsors for their generous
support and we are grateful to have Cranswick
Country Foods join our list of corporate
sponsors.”
Cranswick Country Foods NI’s Site Director
Tony Demaine said: “At Cranswick Country
Foods, we seek to maintain a sustainable and
ethical supply chain from farm to fork and
initiatives such as Bank of Ireland Open Farm
Weekend help us honour this commitment.
We want to support and celebrate the work of
farmers in Northern Ireland and we also value
this opportunity to engage with the wider
public and share with them our passion for
producing high quality pork produce.”
Cranswick Country Foods Ballymena site
employs over 400 people and currently
processes around 11,000 pigs per week. Since
acquisition in November 2016, Cranswick Plc
is making substantial investment in the site
to plan for an exciting future at its Northern
Ireland business and the Northern Ireland pig
industry.
Recruitment for farms willing to participate
in Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2018 is
now open. The event will run on Saturday and
Sunday, June 16-17, with school visits, by prior
arrangement, planned for Friday 15th.
In addition to the service of a mentor, farmers
that sign up to host will also be given training
in advance and a range of resources to help
them get prepared for the public coming onto
their land. To register your interest email
info@openfarmweekend.com or call 028 9037
0222.
The Ulster Farmers’ Union led initiative,
principally supported by Bank of Ireland UK,
seeks to educate the public about where local
food comes from. To date over 87,000 people,
including children via the Schools Programme,
have visited a wide range of working farms
across Northern Ireland, helping them to have
confidence in local farming practices and
have a greater appreciation for where their
food comes from.
For more information on the initiative, visit
the website www.openfarmweekend.com,
follow @BOIopenfarm on Twitter and like
Open Farm Weekend on Facebook.
OVERNMENT
must recognise
that water is a
vital ingredient of our
food and is essential
to the economic
performance of the
agri-food sector.
That’s the key
message in a
new position
statement drawn
up by organisations
representing the
interests of farmers,
growers, processors
and manufacturers.
The statement,
published by the
Water for Food
Group, says water is
essential to grow and
process high quality
food and to sustain
the UK’s largest
manufacturing sector.
It said increasing
water demands
from other sectors,
and a greater risk
of water scarcity
caused by droughts
and climate change,
already threaten the
industry’s ability to
sustain and increase
efficient, high quality
food production at
affordable prices.
Growers of high value
fruit and vegetables
are particularly reliant
on access to secure
supplies of water.
The Water for Food
Group wants water
for food production
to be designated as
an ‘essential water
need’, alongside
water for people
and for energy, and
prioritised accordingly
by the Government,
particularly in its
proposals to reform
water abstraction.
NFU Vice President
Guy Smith said: “All
farmers and growers
depend on secure
supplies of water to
grow our food but
many of them are
increasingly vulnerable
to water shortages as
a result of dry weather
and strict regulations.
“With Government
currently reviewing
the system of how
to allocate water
between different
users when there
isn’t enough to meet
everybody’s needs,
it is timely for us to
ask for a fair share
of water to grow the
nation’s food.
“Given the importance
of food as essential
for life, many people
may be surprised that
water for food isn’t
already acknowledged
as a priority use.”

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