Sustainable farming policy
Covering three-quarters of UK land, how and what we farm has a huge impact on the environment and wildlife, on the economy of rural communities and on our health.
We need a sustainable farm system that provides healthy food grown to high standards of animal welfare and environmental protection. Farming must be able to provide good jobs and livelihoods in food production, supported by a fair supply chain. Farming and land management must also play their part in reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause dangerous climate change.
Picture by Vicki Hird
Examples of good policy and practice exist. The organic farm sector is thriving, some agri-environment schemes that protect farm wildlife and natural resources are working well and some local supply initiatives are ensuring farmers gain a better share of the food pound.
Yet government policies still largely encourage harmful production systems and many farmers and farm workers are struggling to make a decent living. Policy is failing to protect farmers from unfair trading practices of big players in the supply chain, such as supermarkets. Our health, soils, bees and smaller farmers are in trouble, and changes in policy and public investment could do much more to help, for the benefit of everyone.
Being in the European Union has meant UK farm policy was largely designed under the framework of a European Common Agricultural Policy. Brexit means that the UK must now take control of how it supports and sets standards for farming. The UK’s approach to international trade deals will also have big implications for farmers, at home and abroad.
Defra confirm temporary recognition of the EU for trade in organics
In an email to Sustain member the Organic Trade Board, the Department of Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (Defra)...
Expert says UK can ban low standard produce AND keep international trade laws
Emily Lydgate, Deputy Director of the UK Trade Policy Observatory was interviewed by BBC Farming Today (Tuesday 21 October) and argued that the UK...
Agriculture Bill vote in Commons – the wrong result but it is not over yet
After passionate speeches on farming and food in the House of Commons last night, MPs voted against critical amendments to the Agriculture...
Sustain responds to Liz Truss comments that high standards disadvantage developing nations
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss this week claimed that a blanket ban on food imports that do not meet British standards would stop developing...
Four ways US trade deal could be bad for America as well as Britain
IATP in the US has teamed up with Sustain in the UK to show that people in both countries have a shared...
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