Sir Donald Curry, who led the report into farming and food policies, has announced pilot schemes to encourage Brits to buy local food to help the country’s beleaguered farmers.

Speaking at the Oxford Farming Conference Sir Donald said he was in touch with ministers and officials in various departments to encourage them to buy British produce.

Sir Donald said: “Local procurement of goods would give a huge boost to our local suppliers and benefit the local food chain, the environment and the consumer - who will get fresher food.”

Traders at Smithfield meat market are to take legal action to stop the £5 a day London congestion charge, which starts on February 17.

The traders argue that the toll breaches human rights legislation.