All Party Horticulture group secretary details election industry priorities

Rebecca Pow MP, a former gardening journalist and PR, who became Taunton Deane Conservative MP in 2015, says skills, buying British and the environmental agenda are top of her sector campaigning list.

Pow said in reaction to the election call for June 8: "I welcome the Prime Minister’s decision to hold an early election, over the past year she has shown herself to be a strong and stable leader with excellent judgment, and I believe that this announcement is another example of that.

"This election represents an opportunity for those with an interest in horticulture, agriculture and the environment to have their say on who they believe is best to lead the country and champion the industry. My current experience and the progress I have made in Parliament on this agenda suggests that the Conservatives are the Party best placed to deliver in these areas."

Pow said her three key priorities are:

Skills, Technology and Innovation. "By far the biggest challenge facing the horticulture and arboriculture industries is the skills shortage. This Government has a strong track record on apprenticeships, with over two million being created since 2010. I am working hard with the Department of Education to encourage greater links between businesses and colleges to ensure students are being equipped with the right skills to enter into horticultural industries. However, we can only continue to achieve this if we have a strong a stable economy, which can support greater innovation and use of ground-breaking technology to further advance productivity within the business."

Buy British. "The incentive and campaign to Buying British will have a huge impact on our horticulture and farming industries. This Government is championing British Food and Drink, both to domestic an international markets, and the 25 Year Food and Farming plan will be revolutionary in the way we support our suppliers and manufactures. I am also working hard on some smaller simple measures, such as the introduction of a ‘Buy British’ button for online shopping, an idea I know the Farming Minister, George Eustice, is keen to explore."

Environmental Agenda. "All of this is of course only achievable if we include it within a strong environmental framework, protecting our natural world and resources through strong leadership. Yet again it is this Conservative Government who have been delivering results in this area, most recent examples include increasing the protection surrounding ancient woodland and proposing a ban on micro-plastics in cosmetics, both of which I have personally campaigned on.

"The past two Conservative Manifestos have pledged to leave the environment in a better place than we found it and I am certain this manifesto will deliver the same environmental ambition and I am glad to be working on other projects with DEFRA such as a soil monitoring scheme and plastic bottle deposit scheme."


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