Political party manifestos - food & farming table

Political party manifestos 2017
Food & farming table

In compiling this table we have tried as far as possible to use the wording as stated in the party manifestos, but on occasion have had to summarise. Please let us know if there are any omissions, and as and when new party commitments are released. We have not included commentary on the relative merits or impact of these commitments. The views of Sustain, its members and other commentators on these commitments and their implications are being covered within separate news items.


Party Support for Farmers / Producers Animal Welfare Environment Food Poverty / labour Healthy food / food safety School food / Public procurement Marine and fisheries EU/Brexit food legislation Devolved nations

Ambitions to grow more, sell more and export more. New 'frameworks' for supporting food production and countryside stewardship. Guaranteed same total funds for farm support until 2020. A new agri-environment system to be devised.

Increase provision of technical expertise to farmers through Natural England to enrich soil fertility, plant hedgerows and build dry stone walls.

CCTV recording in slaughterhouses to be mandatory. Take 'early steps' to control export of live farm animals for slaughter.

Improve natural flood management, such as improving quality of water courses to protect against soil erosion and damage to vulnerable habitats and communities. Ensure public forests and woodland are kept in trust for the nation, and provide stronger protections for ancient woodland.

Produce a comprehensive 25 Year Environment Plan that will chart how we will improve our environment as we leave the European Union and take control of our environmental legislation.

Commitment to continue to run the welfare system in accordance with belief that work is the best route out of poverty, that "work should always pay, and that the system should be fair both to the people in need of support and those who pay for it. We have no plans for further radical welfare reform in this parliament and will continue the roll-out of Universal Credit, to ensure that it always pays to be in work."

Commitment to "Fairer corporate governance, built on new rules for takeovers, executive pay and worker representation on company boards".

Listed companies will have to publish the ratio of executive pay to broader UK workforce pay. 

Pledge to continue action to reduce childhood obesity. Promote efforts to reduce unhealthy ingredients and provide clearer food information for consumers, as leaving the European Union will give greater flexibility over the presentation of information on packaged food.

Ending Universal Infant Free School Meals.

Schools in England will offer a free school breakfast to every child in every year of primary school.

Coastal communities - In England, extension of Coastal Communities Fund to 2022, helping seaside towns. Commitment to work with fishing industry, marine scientists, and devolved administrations, to introduce a new regime for commercial fishing that will preserve and increase fish stocks and help to ensure prosperity for a new generation of fishermen. To provide complete legal certainty to our neighbours and clarity during our negotiations with the European Union, we will withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention. We will continue our work to conserve the marine environment off the coast of the United Kingdom.

Protecting the global environment - We will champion greater conservation co-operation within international bodies, protecting rare species, the polar regions and international waters. We will work with our Overseas Territory governments to create a Blue Belt of marine protection in their precious waters, establishing the largest marine sanctuaries anywhere in the world.

Commitment to enact a Great Repeal Bill. The bill will convert EU law into UK law. Commitment that the rights of workers and protections given to consumers and the environment by EU law will continue to be available in UK law at the point at which we leave the EU. The bill will also create the necessary powers to correct the laws that do not operate appropriately once we have left the EU, so our legal system can continue to function correctly outside the EU. Once EU law has been converted into domestic law, parliament will be able to pass legislation to amend, repeal or improve any piece of EU law it chooses, as will the devolved legislatures, where they have the power to do so.  Commitment to protect the interests of Scottish farmers and fishermen as "we design our new UK farming and fisheries policy".  Protect the interest of Welsh farmers in design of new UK farming policy and work with devolved administrations to ensure the strength of the Welsh brand is maintained.

Create more sustainable farming and land-use policies that are focused on restoring the UK's natural environment.

Support family farms and relocalise food production, thereby creating thriving rural communities.

Restore biodiversity, sustainable land management and farming, improving animal welfare, and tackling climate change.

Refocus public funding for the rural economy towards restoring biodiversity, sustainable land management and farming, improving animal welfare, and tackling climate change.

Introduce an Environmental Protection Act.

Create a new environmental regulator and court to effectively monitor and enforce environmental law.

Promote a network of new interlinking local ecological spaces.

A right for every person in the UK to have access to a healthy and safe natural green space.

Promote the culture of reusing and refilling, through: the introduction of a bottle deposit scheme; free public water dispensers and a community refill scheme; and an end to unnecessary single-use plastics.

End the working poverty by phasing in a 4-day working week, abolishing exploitative zero hours contracts, upholding trade union rights, and ensuring that everyone is paid a living wage.

Take steps towards the introduction of a universal basic income.

Promote credit unions to free people from debt.

Free public water dispensers.  

Completion of an ecologically-coherent network of well-managed marine protection areas around the UK, and in UK Overseas Territories.

New fisheries legislation must contain a legal requirement to fish below a level.

Promote locally-led fishing that supports coastal economies.

Bring an end to damaging fishing operations in protected areas.

Implement a Blue New Deal to regenerate coastal communities, harnessing the potential of our seas whilst protecting the marine environment.

Allow people right to vote on whatever deal is negotiated for Britain's departure from the EU.

Fight for the Brexit deal to include retention of freedom of movement, including the rights of EU citizens to remain in the UK and for young people to study, work, live and travel in the EU through schemes such as Erasmus, and for the preservation of environmental protections and the principles and regulations which protect human health, animal welfare and workers' rights.


Expand the role of the Groceries Code Adjudicator toÿ ensure suppliers and consumers' get a fair deal.

Reconfigure funds for farming and fishing to support smaller traders, local economies, community benefits and sustainable practices.

Reinstate the Agricultural Wages Board to underpin employment standards and wages.

Allow EU workers employed across farming, fishing and food manufacturing to remain in the UK, and reinstate the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme.

Protect our farmers and rural economy by ensuring Britain continues to set the highest standards in food quality and welfare. 

Promote cruelty-free animal husbandry and consult on ways to ensure better enforcementÿ of agreed standards.

Defend and extend existing environmental protections.

Champion sustainable farming, food and fishing by investing in and promoting skills, technology, market access and innovation.

Establish an environmental tribunal with simplified procedures to hear challenges to unlawful government decisions.

Work with farmers and foresters to plant a million trees of native species to promote biodiversity and better food.

Develop a cross-government strategy for ensuring the Sustainable Development Goals are implemented, and report annually to Parliament on our performance.

Work with  food manufacturers and retailers  to reduce waste.

Roll out maximum pay ratios  of 20:1 in the public sector and in companies bidding for public contracts.

Reform the rules companies operate under, to focus on delivering shared wealth. Labour will amend company law so that directors owe a duty directly not only shareholders, but to employees, customers, the environment and the wider public.

Commit to tackle child poverty  with a new Child Poverty Strategy.

Build human rights  and social justice into trade policy. We will ensure that trade agreements cannot undermine human rights and labour standards, and that UK Export Finance support is not available to companies engaged in bribery or corrupt practices.


Roll out Universal Free School Meals to all primary students.

Publish a new childhood obesity strategy within the first 100 days, with proposals on advertising and food labelling. We will make a concerted effort to address poor childhood oral health in England. Labour will implement the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, commonly known as the 'sugar tax'.

Create 'blue belts' of the seas and oceans surrounding our island.

Establish  a science innovation fund, working with farmers and fisheries, that will include support for our small scale fishing fleet.

Commitment to end the uncertainty for farmers and food producers by securing continued EU market access allowing British farmers and food producers to continue to sell their products on the Continent.

Drop the Conservatives' Great Repeal Bill, replacing itÿ with an EU Rights and Protections Bill that will ensure there is no detrimental change to workers' rights, equality law, consumerÿ rights or environmental protections as a result of Brexit.

Liberal Democrat

Agricultural subsidy reform to ensure British farming doesn't lose out in event of Brexit, away from direct subsidy towards countryside protection, flood prevention, food production, and climate change mitigation. Protect smaller farms & support a more localised agricultural policy.

Encourage new/younger farmers through share farming & community ownership.

Increase powers of Groceries Code Adjudicator (helping farmers receive fair prices) to include wider supply chain.

Update farm animal welfare codes and promote responsible stewardship of antibiotics.

Increased penalties for animal cruelty, with maximum sentence increased to five years.

Ban on caged hens.

A Nature Act to make the Natural Capital Committee (NCC) statutory. Legally binding natural capital targets on biodiversity, clean air and water.

Water management and water efficiency standards reform to protect lakes, rivers and wetlands.

Suspension of use of neonicotinoids until proven that their use does not harm pollinators.

Establish an independent review to consult on how to set a genuine living wage across all sectors. We will pay this living wage in all central government departments and their agencies, and encourage other public-sector employers to do likewise.

Extend transparency requirements on larger employers to include publishing the number of people paid less than the living wage and the ratio between top and median pay.

Encourage the creation of 'good employer' kitemark covering areas such as paying a living wage, avoiding unpaid internships and using name-blind recruitment.

A National Food Strategy to promote the production and consumption of healthy, sustainable and affordable food.

A National Wellbeing Strategy to put health & wellbeing at the heart of all policy.

Public health to be kept within local government and funding cut re-instated.

A Childhood Obesity Strategy including restricting junk food marketing to children and TV advertising before 9pm, and closing loopholes in the sugary drinks tax.

Encourage traffic light labelling and calorie, fat, sugar and salt labelling in restaurants and takeaways.

Mandatory targets on sugar reduction for food and drink producers.

Promoting wellbeing to be a statutory duty of a school and part of the Ofsted inspection.

Free school meals to be extended to all children in primary education and breakfast clubs promoted.

Fishing rights to not be traded away against other policies and a national plan for sustainable fisheries.

A 'blue belt' of marine protected areas in UK.

Future trade deals to require high safety, environmental and animal welfare standards for imported food, and country of origin labelling for meat and dairy.  

Plaid Cymru’s 2017 manifesto is available here.


Political party manifestos 2015
Food & farming table



Support for Farmers / Producers

Animal Welfare

Organic / GMO statements


EU Common Agricultural Policy

Food Poverty

Healthy food / food safety

School food / Public procurement


Taxes to be smoothed over 5 years, not 2 to improve resistance to volatility. Treble apprentices. Farmer led data collection. Champion Grocery Code Adjudicator so farmers get fair deal from supermarkets. 
Promote British products and encourage British exports.

Push for higher standards and incorporate them into international trade agreements.

Have science-led advice on GMO

Science based approach to pesticides. See also EU CAP

Reform and spend £3 billion from the Common Agricultural Policy on countryside over the next five years, to clean up our rivers and lakes, protect our stonewalls and hedges, and help our bees to thrive.


Take action to reduce childhood obesity, support people struggling with obesity to help them back into work.



Subsidies designed to protect the soil, reduce flood risk, conserve wildlife, improve water quality, increase recreation and assist carbon capture. 
Encourage fair trade to guarantee a decent livelihood for farmers at home and also in countries that export food to the UK.
Protect productive land from development.
Increase localisation of food supply.
More powers for the Supermarket Ombudsman

Move away from intensive farming, ban on cages for hens. CCTV in slaughter-houses, 8 hour limit on transportation and end to live export for slaughter

Promote non-chemical ways of farming. Increase support for organics. Support a moratorium on GM crops

Reduce use of pesticides, help bees. Stop overuse of antibiotics.
Ensure people eat less, but better quality meat. Ban waste food and organic material from being sent to landfill.  

Reform to promote landscape conservation

Ending food banks and food poverty. Ensuring that nutritious food is available to everyone at prices they can afford.

Extend VAT to less healthy foods, including sugar, but spend the money raised on subsidising around one third of the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Improve traceability and labelling

Free nutritious (school) lunches to all children and get children involved in growing, preparing and cooking food where possible. 
Encourage sustainable supply to schools and hospitals (including local and GM-free ingredients). 
Introduce a Hospital Food Plan.


Create a world-leading Food, Farm and Fisheries sector that creates better paid jobs and apprenticeships across the rural economy.

Create long-term strategy for the sector, to promote the best of British produce.

Strengthen Grocery Adjudicator.

End badger cull


Emphasis on protecting environemnt, tackling climate change, including 'ambitious action plan'

Reform, will not join Euro


A greater emphasis on publich health and prevention.

Set maximum levels of fat, sugar and salt in foods marketed to children.

Give local authorities new powers so that local communities can shape their high streets and manage the future number of fast food outlets locally.

Guarantee parents of primary school children access childcare from 8am to 6pm (which would impact food provision).

Liberal Democrat

Ensure farming support is concentrated on sustainable food production, conservation and tackling climate change. Support Groceries Code Adjudicator

Review the use of cages, crates and routine preventive antibiotics. Introduce, science-led ways of controlling bovine TB,


Ensure sustainable and healthy food is served in the public sector. Protect bees as pollinators.
Extend food waste collections.

Reform and shift CAP payments to the active farmer rather than the landowner


Restrict marketing on junk food, better food labelling. Extend food waste collection. Maintain 5-a-day campaign. Encourage traffic light food labelling. Introduce a National Food Strategy to promote the production and consumption of healthy, sustainable and affordable food

Extend free school meals to all primary school children.
Further invest in Defra’s Food Plan for Public sector procurement.
Quality food in NHS.

Plaid Cymru

Reform of Red Meat Levey rule.
Strengthen Groceries Adjudicator role.
Get young people into the farming industry.
Increase domestic and international market for Welsh produce.
Reduce red tape in farming.
Support for allotments and home growing.
Will support food festival promoting local produce.

Support adoption of Animal Welfare law at all levels of government and creation of EU Animal Welfare commissioner.

Against growing of GMOs in Wales and UK.

Ensure farming is sustainable.
Will introduce food waste bill.

Support the CAP, keeps 80% of Welsh farmers in business.

Remove the need for Food banks. Through food waste bill donate surplus food to charities for distribution.

Supports a tax on sugary drinks.
Will work with food and drink manufacturers to reduce sugar.
Tackle Food fraud and ensure food safety standards aren't breached. Oppose lowering of standards through TTIP.

Increase procurement of Welsh produce.


The full devolution of all food levies to support the promotion of Scotland’s food and drink






Abolish the Bedroom Tax and would invest the £35 million spent by the Scottish Government to compensate those affected in tackling - and eventually eradicating - food poverty.


Continue to work on promoting local food supply, including within the public sector.


Redistribute payments away from wealthy landowners and to farmers.
Favour smaller food producers and family farms. Introduce a UK subsidy of £80 per acre.
Fair price for dairy farmers, allow farmers to counter power of purchasing cartels.
Refine brief for Grocery Adjudicator

Ban export of live animals to slaughter, install CCTV at abattoirs and deal with violations seriously.

25% premium on subsidy for organic farms. Support research into GMO’s and have a free vote in parliament.

Match-fund grants made by local authorities towards rural capital projects, such as creating a lake, wetland, and repairing traditional stone walls, which enhance the local environment, encourage rural education, or help recovery from environmental disasters.

Leave EU

Develop food banks into community advice centres

Protect Meals on Wheels. 

Place a statutory duty on all primary schools to offer before and after-school care, 8am - 6pm during term time, with option to extend this to all-day provision in school holidays. These sessions will include breakfast and healthy snacks. 




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