Skip to main content
Harper Adams University logo

    Vice-Chancellor invited to Number 10's Farm to Fork Summit

    Posted 15 May

    Harper Adams Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan at Number 10 Downing Street.

    Harper Adams Vice-Chancellor Professor Ken Sloan has taken views on food and farming directly to 10 Downing Street’ s second UK Farm to Fork Summit.

    Professor Sloan was among leading figures in the food and farming industries selected by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to attend the summit, held earlier this week.

    The annual event brings together farmers and growers, ministers, stakeholders from organisations such as the NFU, and representatives from retailers and businesses such as Tesco, Aldi and McCain’s.

    At this year’s summit, the PM announced the publication of a new Food Security Index, aimed at helping farmers, the industry and the Government to monitor how external factors – such as war or adverse weather – are affecting British food supplies.

    Among other announcements, the Government also detailed new measures to help develop the UK’s fruit and vegetable sector, as well as providing more detail about a £75 million find to protect agricultural land and rural communities from flooding.

    The Prime Minister said: “Come rain or shine, I will always back British farmers. From feeding the nation to protecting our countryside, they are vital to the security and the fabric of our country. 

    “This package of support will help farmers produce more British food, delivers on our long-term plan to invest in our rural communities, and ensures the very best of our homegrown products end up on our plates.”

    Environment Secretary Steve Barclay said: “Food security is vital to our national security, which is why today’s summit is so important, bringing together government and key representatives from the farming and food sector at Downing Street.”

    The need for a Governmental focus on food security had been underlined by Professor Sloan earlier this year, when he gave evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee formal evidence session at Harper Adams for its investigation into education and careers in land-based sectors.

    Speaking after the Downing Street summit, he said: “I was delighted to be invited to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s second Field to Fork Summit.

    “After a speech from the PM we split off into groups. In our group, co-convened by Jo Churchill MP Minister for Employment, and Rosie Bennett FCCA, Chair of Young Farmers, w were focused on meeting the future skills needs across the entire industry chain.

    “We acknowledged the importance of engineering to our future, the constraints that planning and skills availability can have on deploying innovative solutions, the need for flexibility in the apprenticeship levy, and the need to ensure we support existing farmers and food producers to innovate.

    “I was able to share the work of the School of Sustainable Food and Farming at Harper Adams University in identifying new talent and supporting existing workers. I called for a joined up and serious campaign of compelling story telling to inspire and engage the future generation we need.

    “Alex Payne was able to talk to the key messages arising from the Landex and GuildHE manifesto on land-based education including securing food security as a national priority.

    “Other points covered how to inspire young people at point of sale in supermarkets, and how to better support deployment of technology.

    “It was great to catch up and meet with so many people across the sectors including Sophie Throup, Judith Batchelar OBE, Alicia Chivers, Bob Carnell, Paul Gillow, Ken Murphy and Giles Hurley.

    “The session ended with a panel including the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Steve Barclay and NFU President Tom Bradshaw. Tom helped to ensure I even got the last word!”

    Cookies on the Harper Adams University website

    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.