On Wednesday 8 November Angela Smith, MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge in South Yorkshire, visited the York headquarters of Fera Science Limited (Fera), a joint venture between the government and Capita designed to help the UK respond to, and recover from, emergency environmental situations.

As part of her Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) Fellowship* learning about sustainability and the environment from UK businesses, Angela, a former Shadow Minister for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, met with key executives and scientists at Fera to gain insight into the science behind sustainable crop production, environmental management and in food safety and quality.

During her visit, Angela learned about Fera’s efforts to stimulate economic growth for food and agri SMEs in York and the surrounding region, and spoke to local students and graduates at the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus (NAFIC) Open Day Event in Sand Hutton. She also toured the plant with CSO Rick Mumford, received a briefing from CEO Andrew Swift on how Fera is helping the UK prepare for Brexit, and met with scientists to discuss how innovation in field diagnostics is supporting UK biosecurity.

Commenting on the visit, Angela Smith MP said:

“I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Fera in York today and it was great to see first-hand the National Agri-Food Innovation Campus, and learn how Fera is supporting local SMEs and students. I would like to say a big thanks to all the staff for giving up their time to meet with me today. It was also fantastic to speak with employees and youngsters alike at the careers event and see how the next generation is planning to innovate this vital sector.”

Dr Andrew Swift, CEO of Fera said:

“Fera offers a wide range of services and expertise to help farmers, growers and the food industry to improve yields, reduce costs and develop sustainable solutions. Firstly, I would like to thank Angela very much for giving up her time today. Secondly, I’d like to thank the IPT for the work that they do in bridging the gap between parliamentarians and industry. “

ENDS.

Notes to Editors

*IPT Fellowships are educational, non-lobbying attachments for parliamentarians, providing a unique perspective of the challenges and issues facing UK industry. Fellowships can take place in a range of organisations, from FTSE 100 companies to SMEs and voluntary organisations.

About the IPT

To find out more about the Industry and Parliament Trust please visit: www.ipt.org.uk or contact Rioco Green, Communications Officer on 020 7839 9409 or RiocoGreen@ipt.org.uk.

The Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) is a registered charity dedicated to promoting mutual understanding between Parliament, business, industry and commerce for the public benefit. This is achieved by encouraging dialogue between legislators and wealth generators from all sectors of business. The IPT is independent, non-partisan and non-lobbying.

Fellowships are bespoke placements in industry for MPs, MEPs and peers structured around a set of learning objectives dictated by each parliamentarian at the beginning of their programme. Fellowships are non-lobbying, non-partisan and educational in ethos and are supported across Parliament. There are currently 70 parliamentarians undertaking a Fellowship. There have been over 500 Fellows since the IPT was founded in 1977.