Sustain's Agriculture Bill priorities

Sustain is coordinating the alliance's response to the Agriculture Bill, which was introduced to Parliament on 12 September 2018 and had its second reading in Parliament on 10 October.

That Bill fell in 2019 and a new, amended Agriculture Bill  2019-20 was tabled on 16 January 2020. It is now at Comittee Stage in the House of Lords and we have a briefing on the amendments we want to see debated and supported.

****Latest updates ***

House of Commons Ping Pong Stage MP briefing Priority Amendments October 2020 

11 September 2020 House of Lords Report Stage Briefing can be downloaded here 

2 July 2020  House of Lords Committee Stage Briefing can be downloaded here. 

10 June - briefing for House of Lords Second Reading can be downloaded here. 

March - to include our Briefing for the new Agriculture Bill 2019-21.

PLEASE write to your MP now to tell them how you want to see the new Bill amended

February 2020 

****Our new Parliamentary Briefing is avaliable now. This takes a look at the new Agriculture Bill 2019-21 and suggests areas for amendments. ****

A summary of the MP Agriculture Public Bill Committee actions can be found here including all the amendments and new clauses and how the votes went.

Sustain's oral and written Evidence to the Committee can be viewed. 


Background - 2017- 2019 Agriculture Bill

This is the first major UK legislation on agriculture in 50 years, and the Sustain alliance wants to make the best of this opportunity to influence UK farm policy and practice. This is made especially urgent due to the need for the UK to take decisive action on farm livelihoods, working conditions, public health, animal welfare, biodivesity, environmental protection and climate change. We produced a 10-point primer on the first Bill draft in September 2018.

Read our Report Stage amendments briefing (April 2019) - note that this is an evolving document, so get in touch if you want updates.

See our latest blogs on the likely progress of the Bill in 2019 and the Environmental Land Management Scheme that may result from it.

Read our written and oral evidence to the Agriculture Bill Committee.

Access the text of the Agriculture Bill, all the official papers, amendments, committee meetings and debates here.

Sustain is focusing our attention on supporting amendments to the Agriculture Bill on five key themes:

  • Public health - support for farming methods that promote public health, such as low antibiotic and pesticide use, and promotion of healthy fruit and vegetable production. Read our public health amendment briefing and recent blog.
  • Agro-ecology - support for whole-farm systems, such as organic, that can deliver on multiple environmental, social and animal welfare benefits. Read our agro-ecology amendment briefing and blog.
  • Fair dealing - support for powers, duties and regulation to ensure fair trading practices throughout the food supply chain, to protect decent livelihoods. Read our fair dealing amendment briefing.
  • Agricultural workers - support for reinstatement of an Agricultural Wages Board for England, to ensure better pay and conditions for farm workers. Read our 2 page briefing on the amendment we want and longer agricultural workers briefing.
  • International trade - support for an amendment to ensure that imports of agri-food products must meet the same high standards expected of British farmers, to prevent unfair competition. We are joining with others to call for this and a budget amendment. Read a short joint briefing on these issues.

We also support a number of amendments from our members and the Greener UK coalition. These are listed in the Report Stage Briefing.

We are asking the public to contact their MP about their concerns for the Bill. Please consider contacting your own MP to encourage them to speak out on public health, agro-ecology, fair dealing, agricultural workers and high standards in international trade.

The list above shows those amendments that Sustain is actively supporting. We are also supportive of a wide range of other amendments championed by others, relating to - for example (but not limited to):

  • The need for multi-annual budgets for farming and land-management support
  • Integrated action on climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture
  • Recognition of soil conservation and soil health
  • Action to reduce pesticide use, improve worker protection and reduce pesticide residues in food
  • amendments to ensure higher animal welfare outcomes and better labelling
  • Protection of County Farms
  • Action to improve farmer training and skills

Contact Vicki Hird for more information 

Produced with the support of the Friends Provident Foundation 

Food and Farming Policy

Sustain encourages integration of sustainable food and farming into local, regional and national government policies.

Find out more

The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9DA

020 3559 6777

Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.

© Sustain 2020
Registered charity (no. 1018643)
Data privacy & cookies