2 Oct 2017: Kick in the Teeth for the Farmers Union as Tory Party Contracts Foreign sugar company to sponsor its conference
The Conservative Party is under fire from angry farmers after allowing a major US sugar company to sponsor its conference in Manchester.
US sugar company Tate & Lyle Sugars, a major exporter to the UK, is sponsoring the Conservative Party Conference, held in Manchester from 1 October to 4 October 2017.
Lincolnshire grower Andrew Ward said: “Disgraceful. Conservatives sponsored at conference by Tate & Lyle, who provide foreign cane sugar. So much for supporting British agriculture.”
The gaffe means that the Conservatives are advertising a brand which is a major competitor to British sugar.
It comes just days after Defra Secretary Michael Gove and Tory MP Robert Jenrick recently visited the British sugar factory at Newark to mark the end of the EU sugar quotas. Jenwick said the visit was made to “start a bright new future”.
Tory Party supporters, the National Farmers’ Union, even set up a ‘sensory farm’ inside the conference, which includes the “pledge apple tree”, where delegates can hang a paper apple on the prop to pledge their support for British farming.
Just yesterday, the NFU President said the conference would give the union the “perfect opportunity” to speak to thousands of delegates about the British farming industry.
But forward one day, and the NFU Vice President quips: “off early to Manchester to help man the NFU stand. First task, change the lanyard on the conference pass. It just isn’t possible to build a country on imports.”