A NEW initiative has been launched to give the Yorkshire farming community a voice post-Brexit.

Grow Yorkshire, which is co-ordinated by the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding (YNYER) Local Enterprise Partnership, has been established to act as a positive voice for the industry centred on cultivating enterprise and ensuring prosperity for Yorkshire’s farming and food businesses in a post-Brexit world.

It is backed by key stakeholders across the region and aims to capitalise on the potential for businesses to seek greater profitability.

Grow Yorkshire has written an open letter to the Government calling for its commitment to ensure a healthy future for the region’s rural economy.

The letter, signed by a wide range of people and organisations who work with farming and food businesses, including the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, NFU, CLA and Deliciously Yorkshire, will be sent to Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Robert Goodwill, the MP for Scarborough and Whitby, and calls for the Government to recognise the priority needs of the sector in the region and to work in partnership with Grow Yorkshire to achieve these.

Priorities include providing business planning support, guidance on income opportunities, managing change and encouraging innovation.

The letter states: “Farming is central to the economic, environmental and social fabric of our great county of Yorkshire. The farmers and food companies based in Yorkshire don’t just feed the nation; they manage globally important landscapes which support a thriving tourism industry. They are the bedrock of our rural communities and provide crucial public goods that benefit wider society.”

David Kerfoot, chairman of YNYER LEP, said: “Grow Yorkshire is taking a pioneering approach to help deliver a positive future for farming. We look forward to working with the Government for the benefit of the rural economy and the many thousands of people whose livelihoods depend on it.”