EAST Lancashire farmers are in Birmingham today to quiz government ministers and supermarket bosses.

They are among more than 50 from the north west at the industry’s biggest annual gathering. The delegation from the region includes livestock farmers Thomas Binns of Downham and John Alpe of Whitewell, and dairy man Graham Young of Samlesbury.

At the National Farmers Union Conference themed on ‘Backing the Business of British Farming’, they will get the chance to question Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and his minister for farming George Eustice. Also on the spot at the Birmingham event will be chief executive of Sainsbury’s Justin King, Tesco commercial director Kevin Grace and Morrison’s boss Martyn Jones.

Today, the NFU will launch its ‘Backing the Business of British Farming’ examining the importance of agriculture to the British economy and highlighting the need for the Government to put farming at the centre of economic policy making.