The Prime Minister’s cabinet reshuffle has seen a number of changes made within the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
The changes see George Eustice MP appointed as Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs replacing the Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP who has been in the role since July 2019. George Eustice MP leaves the position of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister, where he regularly engaged with the HTA and other organisations on issues impacting the sector. His replacement in this position is yet to be announced.
In other appointments, Alok Sharma has been appointed as Business Secretary and President of the COP26 Climate Summit which takes place in Glasgow in November. COP26 is a UN global meeting which brings nation’s together to tackle climate change.
James Clark, Director of Policy and Communications at the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) said: “We see the appointment of George Eustice MP as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs as a positive move given his knowledge of our industry. As a sector, ornamental horticulture makes such an important environmental and economic contribution to the UK economy, adding £24 bn to UK GDP and employing 568,000 people.
“With a busy agenda ahead three priorities for the HTA are Brexit, immigration and plant health. On Brexit, we need to ensure that trade continues to flourish. On immigration, we need to make sure we have the right people in the right numbers to allow the industry to function and grow. On plant health, we need to make sure that biosecurity has a high level of importance across Government departments. We look forward to working collaboratively with George Eustice MP and his team on progressing these in the months ahead.”