A GOVERNMENT minister has highlighted how Cumbrian farmers can help deliver the Government’s net-zero targets.

Speaking after a virtual fringe event at Conservative Party Conference titled ‘Net-zero, farming and trade: feeding the nation and protecting the planet,’ Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, said: “I was delighted to be invited to speak at this event and be able to make the case for how Cumbria can be a champion for reducing carbon emissions and set an example for the wider UK. The introduction of Environmental Land Management (ELM) schemes will play a key role in helping to make farming more sustainable.”

Under the ELM schemes, farmers will be paid for work that promotes animal health and welfare and enhances the environment, such as tree or hedge planting and river management to mitigate flooding, or creating or restoring habitats for wildlife.

Dr Hudson, a member of the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee and Conservative Environment Network’s Parliamentary Caucus joined National Farmers Union (NFU) President Minette Batters, Richard Graham MP and Iceland MD Richard Walker at the event.

The panel also discussed the need for local food security and sustainability which acts as a benefit for local farmers who are selling their produce and can play a role in reducing carbon emissions via shortening the distances that are travelled during transportation. In addition, the panel covered the theme of upholding animal welfare and food production standards in international trade deals.

Dr Hudson added it was a crucial time to encourage people to buy local.