CUMBRIAN farmers have been urged to make their voices heard at a mass rally in London next month.

The event on March 25, organised by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), will see farmers, consumer representatives and animal welfare and environment experts implore the Government to commit to a trade policy which prevents the import of poor-quality food to the UK in the aftermath of Brexit. The NFU is expecting hundreds to attend.

David Hall, NFU North West regional director, said: “Brexit has officially taken place, and the reality is our Cumbrian farmers need more than just promises to ensure the high standards of animal welfare and food production they uphold are not undermined by imports of food which would be illegal to produce here.

“I want to see as many of them as possible getting behind the NFU president’s call to arms and make the trip.”

He added: “Cumbria is the second-largest county in England and Wales when it comes to the amount of NFU farmer and grower members it has.

“They are a part of a North West farming industry which contributes £726 million to the economy.

"Their voice needs to be heard.”

Minette Batters, president of the NFU, said the organisation shared the Government’s ambition “to deliver more for the environment,” but stressed the importance of not offloading food production to “parts of the world who do not share our values and standards.”

She added: “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.”

Next month's rally will take place at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre, Westminster.