The wonderful landscape of Norfolk really does blossom in the summer sunshine. This was even more apparent during a tour of the potato fields of Methwold farmers, Wortley & Sons. With the flowers in full bloom and the irrigation system creating a rainbow (unfortunately no pot of gold at the end) – the fields of crops never looked better. The farm produces thousands of tonnes of potatoes annually so our discussion focused on the irrigation systems and the availability of water. Wortley & Sons are also part of a pilot project on the River Wissey with Anglia Water, the Internal Drainage Boards, landowners and anglers to see how water extraction can be better utilised on the river. It is good to see local knowledge being harnessed to find a solution specific for the local environment.
And with such amazing countryside growing high quality produce, I was delighted to announce in early July the new Food Enterprise Zones (FEZ) that will be set up next year. There will be 17 zones across the country, including three in East Anglia. By making it easier for businesses to grow and bringing different parts of the food supply chain together, FEZs will ensure greater collaboration between rural businesses, kick-start local food economies and help people develop new skills – all great news for our producers in South West Norfolk.