HUNDREDS of farmers from across the country will gather in London in March to join NFU Cymru in a rallying call to the Government.

The call will be urging the Government to commit that future UK trade policy will not allow imports of food produced to standards that would be illegal in the UK.

The mass rally will bring together farmers, consumer representatives and experts in animal welfare and the environment, in a show of unity backing the future of Welsh and British farming and underlining the role farmers play in supplying the nation with safe, traceable and affordable food and protecting our countryside.

They are in agreement that Welsh and British farming’s world-leading standards must be safeguarded in future trade deals.

The event will take place on March 25 at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster, London.

NFU Cymru president John Davies said: “This year is absolutely pivotal for the future of our country, our farmers and the food on our plates.

"Nothing will determine this more than how the Government shapes trade deals with the EU and other countries around the world.

“This event is about bringing together people from across British business who acknowledge and value the importance of food and farming.

"They are crystal clear that the Government must hold the line that they will uphold British farming’s high standards in trade deals, and crucially they must hold imports entering the country to that same standard.

“Failure to do so risks undermining British food production and our own domestic farming industry. We share the Government’s ambitions to deliver more for the environment, but in doing so, we must not offshore our food production to those parts of the world who do not share our values and standards.

“This is an opportunity for hundreds of people to come together and make their views clear that the Government must not sacrifice British farming on the altar of free trade and we will be inviting MPs to attend to hear that message first hand.

“British farming can be one of the leading lights of post-Brexit Britain if the Government chooses to become a global leader in championing sustainable, climate-friendly food that our farmers produce here.

"Farmers across the country are ready to rise to that challenge and we stand ready to work with the Government on that journey.”

Reflecting on the UK leaving the EU, Mr Davies said: “January 31 marks our departure from the EU in legal terms and we will now enter a transition period.

"During the transition we will remain in the EU’s single market and customs union, and so for that time we will continue to be able to trade with the EU27 in just the same way as we did before we ceased to be a member state.

"I am not therefore expecting Wales’ farmers to experience any significant changes overnight, particularly given that we will also remain bound by the vast bulk of EU law during transition.

“The Prime Minister has set himself the ambitious deadline of concluding a Free Trade Agreement with the EU27 by the end of 2020.

"It is essential that whatever agreement the UK Government reaches with the EU27, that it delivers the most favourable access possible for Welsh farmers to European markets, with tariff and non-tariff barriers eliminated wherever possible."