Westminster Tractor Demo

Our Tractors Return to Westminster!

On October 12th Save British Farming organised our second Westminster Demo.  As tractors and other farm vehicles mustered at New Covent Garden, MPs in the Commons began a debate on Amendment 16 – whether to include standards in the new Agriculture Bill.  Our ‘tractorcade’ wended its way along the south embankment to Lambeth Bridge where it crossed and made its way to Smith’s Square, home to the government’s DEFRA offices.  The BBC and other press were waiting, along with some politicians including Luke Pollard – Labour’s shadow DEFRA minster, and Tim Farron who holds a similar position in the Lib Dems.

Labour Shadow DEFRA minister, Luke Pollard, with SBF volunteers, Anna & Emma

From there, they went back over Lambeth Bridge, crossed Westminster Bridge and made their way to Trafalgar Square, before passing Downing Street and entering Parliament Square for a few rotations.

After the demo, tractors were directed to Old Palace Yard opposite the Houses of Parliament where the press was waiting to interview those who took part. 

All in all, it was a great day, with a great publicity both on national news and in the national press the next day.

Unfortunately, the government whipped Conservative MPs to vote down the amendment, with only 14 rebelling.

The Lords will send another similar amendment back to the Commons, and we’ll be there when it arrives.


Swindon Tractor Demo

Our latest Tractor Demo got heads turning in Swindon!

Wiltshire farmers mustered at the Swindon County Ground ahead of a tractor demonstration around the Old Town.  Local farmers are angry at the government’s failure to include standards in the Agriculture Bill.

The ‘tractorcade’ circled the oldest part of the town several times, to the claps of supporters and bystanders. 

The route included passing local MP Robert Buckland’s office.  

Afterwards, everyone felt buoyed up by the experience, and they’re ready to repeat it if the Commons fails to vote through the Lords amendment safeguarding our standards.


Stokesley Tractor Demo

Stokesley Demo a Great Success!

On October 9th, Save British Farming organised another tractor demo in the northeast, this time in Stokesley, North Yorkshire.

We had great turnout, even bigger than Northallerton and far better than expected!🚜🚜🚜

Around 20 tractors, crop sprayers and pickups with trailers joined us.

One of our campaign team, Richard Sadler as there and says, “They drove up and down the High Street at 10 mph sounding their horns.  Bystanders burst into spontaneous applause – and clapped and cheered.  It’s very obvious that farmers have very strong support from the public – everyone values farming in Yorkshire and no one wants cheap, nasty imports like chlorinated chicken from US factory farms.”

One of the tractors made another stop at MP Rishi Sunak’s office, where farmer Graham Clarke delivered his SECOND letter to the Chancellor urging him to back Lords amendment to Agriculture Bill. Graham still hasn’t heard back after the first letter was delivered after the Northallerton demo on September 25th. 


MP Letter Rebuttals

MP Letter and Rebuttal

Liz Webster shares her MP’s response to our Save British Farming template letter on the Agriculture Bill, UK Farming and food standards. 

🚜 Have you sent one to your MP? 

🐄 Click here to use our customisable template. All you need is your postcode and our app will do the rest. We recommend you include a personal section at the start so it doesn’t get treated as a ‘form letter’.

Have they responded?  If yes, please send it to us – we’re looking at how honest they’re being and which ones are using a standardised response.


Northallerton Demo

SBF Comes to Northallerton, Yorkshire

On a bright Autumn day, tractors gathered outside the North Yorkshire market town of Northallerton.  Decked in our red banners, the tractors rolled up the High Street where a crowd of supporters waving Yorkshire flags cheered and clapped as they went past. 

Afterwards a small rally listened to speeches from a number of people including Lord Newby, the LibDem peer, and Jon Johnson, the SBF representative there.

Farmers are protesting the Agriculture Bill’s failure to include food and animal welfare standards.  Without them, farmers will be undercut by cheaper, lower quality imports.  Added to this, if the government fails to agree a deal with the EU, many livestock farmers will go out of business.


Northallerton Tractor Demo

Northallerton Tractor Demo

Farmers are planning a demonstration in North Yorkshire against Government plans for post-Brexit trade deals with Donald Trump and others which could have devastating consequences for farmers and the people of North Yorkshire.

Where: Northallerton, North Yorkshire
When: Friday 25th September from 12:30pm

A convoy of tractors and farm vehicles will drive up Northallerton High Street demanding safeguards to stop imports of hormone-treated beef and pork and chlorinated chicken undercutting Yorkshire farmers.

A letter will be delivered to local Richmond MP Rishi Sunak calling on him to back an expected amendment to the Agriculture Bill that would stop imports of food products produced to lower animal welfare, food safety and environmental standards than those required of UK farmers.

The protest will culminate in speeches around 1:30pm from a series of invited guests including at least one surprise high-profile individual with close ties to the Conservative Party.

The protest is being jointly organised by the campaign groups Save British Farming and #3.5%.

Muster point: layby off A684 by 12.30pm on Friday. Look for “Save British Farming” signs. If travelling from Leeming Bar, follow A684 through Morton and Ainderby Steeple, then look for layby on right immediately after crossroads signed for Romanby on left and Warlaby on right

If travelling from east, drive through Northallerton town centre, take A684 to Leeming/A1, then look for layby on left just as you’re leaving 40 mph zone.

Click to enlarge

Save Welsh Farming

Tractor Demos and a Rally in Wales

Save British Farming, in collaboration with Undod, held a series of tractor demos around in Wales in Builth Wells, Crymych and Cowbridge where a rally took place.  The protest was to defend farming and food standards which are not protected by the new Agriculture Bill.  

One farmer explained why he’s protesting.

“The cumulative impact of the Agriculture Bill, Trade Bill, & ‘no-deal’ Brexit is likely to cause a rupture within Welsh agriculture. The beneficiaries will likely be US agri-monopolies exporting food products with fewer regulations, & large Welsh businesses who will survive by exploiting the farm workers who create their profits. Smallholders, employed farm workers, & workers who labour in modern slavery conditions will bear the brunt of the crisis.

“But the crises in Welsh agriculture go much further than this. Welsh farming is a social and ecological catastrophe; there is urgent need for a radical reconsideration of our ecology, food production and our relationship to land. This is a conversation that involves ALL of us, but it has a class dimension. It is also a struggle; farm workers owning & controlling the land & production process is a vital part of this conversation.

“Though in Industrial Workers of the World Cymru we don’t have a huge amount of experience organising in this industry, if farm workers want to try to organise in defence of conditions or to grow their power at the expense of their bosses, we will be proactive in our support & will do all we can!”


The threat to farming

Liz Webster on ITV News

On Back British Farming Day ITV West Country did a feature on Save British Farming highlighting the plight faced by farmers and consumers of a damaging Brexit.

Farms are food factories and pushing them out of business to ensure food factories with poor standards feed us from half way across the world is damaging and irresponsible.

Write to your MP and Tory association today, tomorrow and every day because the Agriculture Bill will be back in the House of Commons at the end of September.  Use our customisable letter template.


A message from Plumpton College

Gemma talks to staff and students at Plumpton Agricultural College

As the Government has u-turned on its manifesto pledge to uphold current food, animal welfare and environmental standards, we must come together with farmers, the food supply chain, restaurants and shops to demand our right to decent affordable food. Shipping from the other side of the world – or worse, industrialising our landscape to produce factory-farmed food the US way – will harm us all. It will alter our landscape and access to the countryside, as well as destroy jobs in our farming industry.

The Agriculture Bill is one more charter for private profit. Write to your MP NOW using our customisable letter template, join Save British Farming and fight with us for the future of YOUR food!


Back British Farming Day

Back British Farming Day

September 9th was “Back British Farming” Day – which the NFU has been running for 5 years.  We decided to ‘piggy-back’ on the day with our own campaign events around the country to highlight the issues we have with the Agriculture Bill.  The video below is ITV News.

The photo above was taken at our founder, Liz Webster’s farm.

Liz had two film crews there, as well as a photographer capturing it all.

Liz and David and at their Wiltshire farm.

Down on the south coast, Save British Farming campaign coordinator, Gemma Lane, visited Plumpton Agricultural College for a ‘Back British Farming’ Day report.  They’ve put up one of our ‘mega banners’ which will sit by the entrance to the college for the rest of the month.

Plumpton Agricultural College, Brighton

Meanwhile, around the country, groups held local events on the day to protest the Agriculture Bill.  A group in Devon was filmed by BBC News South West.

Ipswich, Suffolk outside the old Corn Exchange.
Hereford, beside the bull statue
Hexham, Northumberland
Ludlow, Shropshire

We were very pleased with both with all the news coverage our campaign received on Back British Farming Day, and the number of people who volunteered to get involved around the country.  All in all, the day was a great success!