Tell Defra what you want from future farm policy
A group of farming, conservation and environmental groups (1) are releasing today (21 March 2018) a statement calling for the protection and enhancement of farm diversity as a core purpose of the new agriculture bill (2). The measures they are calling for will help deliver the food we need whilst creating a resilient and dynamic farming industry, which works for the wider community as well as for the environment.
Progress is being made by restaurants and bars to improve their farm animal welfare standards although they still lag behind retailers.This is according to the latest Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare, supported by Compassion in World Farming.
Government will enforce new rules for water use on farms in England from 2 April 2018. The regulations will aim to avoid water pollution and benefit farm businesses.
The Scottish Government have published their Climate Change Plan. Nourish Scotland believe the Plan doesn’t do enough to tackle greenhouse emissions from farms.
GM Freeze call for compulsory GM labelling and strict regulation on growing and importing GM crops.
Michael Gove has said, “Wholesome food production is an invaluable investment in the health of our nation, from which we all reap the benefits…” So why does public health get so little mention in Defra's major farming policy consultation? asks Sustain's Vicki Hird.
The Marine Stewardship Council offers funding for students studying sustainable fisheries.
The Organic Research Centre is awarded government funding for two major research projects on organic farming.
Greenpeace launch a campaign to drastically reduce our meat and dairy production and consumption to avoid dangerous climate change.
New research estimates that 100-180 million tonnes of food could be grown each year in urban areas. This could make up 10% of the global output of legumes, root, tubers and vegetable crops.
A resistance to antibiotics that are needed to treat serious diseases in humans has been found in meat in the food chain according to a European Union summary report on antimicrobial resistance in humans, animals and food.
The Pasture-Fed Livestock Association have received funding from the Prince’s Countryside Fund to try and make upland farming more profitable.
Defra publishes ten-week consultation on the UK's first major new farming legislation since 1947. Sustain's Farming Campaign Coordinator Vicki Hird gives an initial response to seeing a version of the consultation.
GM Freeze ask for help to challenge this trial of modified oilseed rape seeds.
To mark the start of Fairtrade Fortnight new research shows that 26% of Brits never think about who produces their food and almost half of us are unaware of exploitation in the food chain.
The UK’s network of small local abattoirs is near collapse. Without urgent action there will be a huge loss of consumer choice because the marketing of locally-produced, traceable meat will no longer be possible in many parts of the country.
Wildlife and Countryside Link have published a detailed analysis of animal welfare standards post-Brexit. The report is supported by more than 40 organisations and a number of MPs and Peers.
Battery cage eggs will no longer be allowed to be sold in French supermarkets after 2022. Compassion in World Farming think the ban doesn’t go far enough.
A super-sized genetically engineered salmon could be on sale in US grocery stores from next year. AquaBounty Technologies, who have grown and are marketing the fish, believe this could be a sustainable solution to over-fishing.
GM Freeze welcomes a paper by IFOAM outlining which new breeding techniques are not compatible with organic farming.
Tech designers and developers from across the world come together for Fishackathon to build practical tech solutions to the challenge of sustainable fish.
The Government has today failed to protect British and overseas farmers from unfair trading practices by refusing to extend the remit of the Groceries Code Adjudicator to include primary producers.
A campaign asks landowners to donate sites which will be protected for ecological agriculture forever. The scheme, run by the Ecological Land Cooperative, will also create new affordable small holdings for new entrants into farming.
In a coalition deal agreed on 7 February the German government sets out its food and farming plans.
In a sign that cultured meat will tip over into the mainstream, the US beef industry want to prevent “fake meat” being labelled as “beef.”
New data revealed by the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics has revealed that livestock raised for food in the US are dosed with five times as much antibiotic medicine as farm animals in the UK.
Government re-opens investigation into the labour situation for those working in agriculture, horticulture and food production. Sustain will be submitting evidence to the inquiry.
Farmers are using thousands of tonnes of colistin on healthy chickens to boost their weight.
The Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics warn post-Brexit deal-makers not to lower UK farm standards to match US - where antibiotic use is five times higher than in the UK
Today, Farmer's Guardian posted a story in which Andrew Percy MP was quoted as saying comments against American chlorinated chicken feed 'anti-American bigotry'.
Event at the University of Gloucestershire will discuss what the region needs for 21st century food and farming.
A conference on the Implications of Brexit for Rural Land Management and Fisheries in Wales will take place on Tuesday 13th February 2018, 11am-4pm a the Medrus Centre, Aberystwyth University. Speakers are from the Wales Centre for Public Policy and Sustain alliance member New Economics Foundation.
If we are going to make the most of Brexit for food, farming and our countryside, we would do well to reflect on what opportunities are presented by this moment in history. So says Kath Dalmeny of Sustain, newly appointed as a commissioner to the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission launched in November by the RSA.
The Soil Association release 10 food safety concerns with a transatlantic trade deal. The list includes ractopamine in pork, flame retardant in citrus drinks and chicken litter being used as animal feed.
The Sustainable Soils Alliance outline the interventions needed to restore soil health within one generation in a new report.
The Landworkers’ Alliance will now be able to start their ‘More Farmers, Better Food’ campaign.
The Government is told to take action on cruel puppy trade, live farm animal exports, foie gras and fur imports to ensure UK can maintain its role as pioneer for animals.
Sustain has been delighted to read the poems of Adam Horowitz following his launch at the Oxford Real Farming Conference in January 2018. The Soil Never Sleeps is the second full collection of poetry by Adam Horovitz, published by Palewell Press in January 2018.
Currently, farming is judged using a narrow and outdated definition of 'economic productivity' that does little to recognise the vital role of farming, and the costs to farmers, in conserving natural resources and our farmed landscape. Productivity and farm efficiency need to be redefined for the modern age, argues Sustain's sustainable farming campaigner Vicki Hird.
The National Farmers' Union highlights the forthcoming UK Agriculture Bill as "a golden opportunity to build a system that works for British farmers". The NFU has published a range of vision statements to deliver these messages to politicians and the public, seeking to "build consensus for a vision of a thriving farming sector post-Brexit and beyond".
Members of the Greener UK alliance have expressed "serious concerns" that UK environmental protections will be reduced after Brexit, despite the Government's promises to put the environment into a better state for the next generation.
The Uplands Alliance - representing hill farmers and upland land managers - reports on meetings with Defra and farming minister George Eustice MP, seeking to influence the design and priorities of new farm payment schemes.
Investigation reveals that more than a million chickens die before reaching the slaughterhouse, with hundreds of thousands more found to have bruising, fractures or respiratory disease, or being in an emaciated condition. Sustain calls for action to improve British meat standards.
Sustain member Unite the Union, whose hundreds of thousands of members include food and farming workers, has launched a new Brexit Check website to help protect union members from the possible impact of Brexit at work.
The Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics is calling on the Government to ban farm use of antibiotics that are critically important for human medicine, following a Food Standards Agency survey revealing record levels of anti-microbial resistance in supermarket chicken.
The parliamentary Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee have published letters written to Michael Gove MP, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary of State (DEFRA) and Greg Clark MP, Secretary for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), strongly endorsing our position and demanding progress on the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA).
2017 was a big year in the world of antibiotics and agriculture. Global concern about the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance was on the up, whilst antibiotic use on UK farms overall was down. The Alliance to Save our Antibiotics reflects on the key developments of 2017 and looks forward to what we can expect in 2018.
Initial Sustain response to the publication of the new Government 25 year Environment Plan By Prime Minister Theresa May today.
It is exactly one year since the Groceries Code Adjudicator consultation (1) closed and yet we still haven't had a response from the Government. Today Sustain welcomes the new small businesses minister to post and calls on him to put this at the top of his new to do list.
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