As a proud Member of Parliament for one of the most rural constituencies in our country, I know how tough things have been for our farming communities, not least with spiralling costs and the transition to new schemes.

Last week, when I hosted the first-ever Farm to Fork Summit in Downing Street, I thanked farmers on behalf of the whole nation for everything they do. I also set out my ambition to change the way we support farming in this country, including by ensuring British farming is at the heart of British trade.

This is something I feel very personally. Farming touches every part of North Yorkshire. I know that farming is not just a job, but a way of life passed down the generations. Farmers feed the nation, they are the guardians of our precious countryside, and their success is fundamental to our national success.

Firstly, we need food security. So we have to meet our target to continue producing 60 per cent of the food we consume. And if we want to keep one of those five promises I have made as Prime Minister – namely to grow our economy - we need to grow our food and farming industry on which the welfare of our whole country depends.

International trade is critical to this. When you consider the scale of the opportunities within our grasp as we forge new trade deals, British farming and British produce will not be an afterthought.

So, in my open letter to British farmers on the eve of last week’s summit, I set out six principles to ensure British farming is at the heart of British trade.

1) Putting agriculture up front. Our trade deals will always consider the full impacts and opportunities of those trade agreements for our domestic agricultural sector.

2) Protecting sensitive sectors. We are prepared to do what is right to protect particularly sensitive sectors, including in Free Trade Agreements, and including, where appropriate, through permanent quotas.

3) Prioritising new export opportunities. Our trade negotiations will deliver new export opportunities to sell more of our world-class produce to growing markets around the world.

4) Protecting UK food standards. Without exception, we will continue to protect food standards in the UK under all existing and future Free Trade agreements. There will be no chlorine-washed chicken and no hormone-treated beef on the UK market. Not now, not ever.

5) Upholding UK production standards. Sow stalls and battery cages are not permitted in the UK. We will safeguard our ability to maintain high environmental, animal welfare and food standards in new trade agreements.

6) Removing market access barriers. We will ensure UK farmers and producers can access new markets by removing barriers outside of Free Trade Agreements – building on recent successes such as the lifting of the long-standing US ban on British lamb.

Finally, we will also do everything possible to support farmers, and all our food and drink producers, to take advantage of the opportunities that come from applying these principles.

We will work with the Food and Drink Export Council to capitalise fully on the ever-growing global demand for UK products. We will invest an additional £2m to strengthen our presence at major trade shows. We will increase the number of UK agriculture attachés to help us reach new markets, in addition to the over 100 staff we already have supporting Great British agriculture, food and drink to export overseas. We will also create a £1m programme to support our dairy sector to export.

By backing British farming in this way, we can enable the whole world to feast on the very best of British, while creating new jobs, growing our economy, and delivering the food security we need.