Stars of Clarkson’s Farm Kaleb Cooper meets prime minister at summit on supermarket supply chains
Clarkson’s Farm star Kaleb Cooper visited Downing Street on Tuesday for a summit hosted by Rishi Sunak on securing supermarket supply chains.
Cooper has found fame as Clarkson’s right-hand man on the Amazon TV show detailing life on the farm, and was seen visiting No10 alongside Charlie Ireland, Jeremy Clarkson’s land agent.
They were attending the Farm to Fork meeting with supermarket chiefs and leaders of retail, trade and production organisations.
The summit aims to ensure the UK’s supermarket supply chains contnue to hold up and Downing Street posted on instagram a picture of Cooper and the prime minister walking togther and laughing in the grounds of No 10.
Downing Street said the Government’s initiatives under discussion include reviewing supply chains to ensure producers are getting a fair deal and making it easier to turn properties on their land into farm shops.
Asked about Cooper’s attendance at the summit, the Prime Minister’s spokesman told journalists: “Obviously that programme (Clarkson’s Farm) has been important in raising some of the issues that farmers face.
“And I think some of the policies set out today will support the farming sector.”
The post on Mr Sunak’s Instagram read: “Farming isn’t just a job. It’s a way of life.“And it doesn’t matter how young you are, there’s a role for you in farming. Anyone can do it. And farming businesses really thrive from having young entrepreneurial spirit.“Enjoyed meeting at 10 Downing Street today to discuss how to get more young people into farming…and compare hairstyles.”
Clarkson recently used a column he writes for the Sunday Times to reveal his “last roll of the dice" as he faces financial worries over the future of his Diddly Squat Farm, a 1,000-acre operation in the Cotswolds.
The presenter wrote: “On top of the physical issues, which will only get worse, there are financial problems too. And they’re going to get worse as well.
“Because the grants and subsidies that I used to get from the EU, to recompense me for selling food at a loss, are dwindling until, in three years’ time, they will dry up completely. These, then, are troubling times, because what am I to do?
“Farming hurts my back and my knees, and if I attempt to use my land to grow food, I’ll lose money. It has been causing me some sleepless nights, that’s for sure."
Environment Secretary Therese Coffey said the Government’s newly announced measures, which include a £30 million investment in new technologies, were about putting “more British produce on supermarket shelves and plates".
The pledge on trade talks comes after former environment secretary George Eustice, who comes from a Cornish farming family, criticised the fresh trading terms with Australia, which he said "gave away far too much for far too little in return".
No 10 said a new framework for trade negotiations would commit to protect the UK’s high food and welfare standards and prioritise new export opportunities.
The sector has also been handed notice that 45,000 visas will be available again to the horticulture sector next year to help with the picking season, matching this year’s allocation.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “I will always back British farmers, and I pay tribute to their hard work and dedication all year round which keeps shelves stocked and food on our tables.
“Supporting our farmers and food producers must, and always will be, at the heart of our plans to grow the economy and build a more prosperous country.
“That’s why I’m proud to host this summit, and working together, I’m determined to build resilience, strengthen our food security and champion the best of British at home and overseas.”