Sustain joined thirty-four organisations, reflecting a wide range of food, farming, consumer and nature conservation interests in writing a joint letter to Defra’s Secretary of State, Michael Gove, asking him to take urgent action to save the UK’s network of smaller abattoirs, which are closing at an alarming rate.
Does a stranger having heart disease matter as much to me as one having tuberculosis? This was the challenge given at a recent mini-Inquiry at City University looking at whether some public health goals can be supported via new farm policy.
In February 2018 the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs commissioned an independent review of farm inspection and regulation. The purpose of the review is to identify ways to improve regulation to reduce burden on farmers and maintain and enhance animal, environmental and plant health standards.
Farm support, access to farm labour and the future of animal welfare are just some of the issues being addressed in UK farm policy. This is an extract from Sustain's Brexit Forum newsletter, June/July 2018. Sign up to receive news updates monthly or bi-monthly at: www.sustainweb.org/brexit
The Government's plan for replacing the EU Common Fisheries Policy has at last been published - find out more here. This is an extract from Sustain's Brexit Forum newsletter, June/July 2018. Sign up to receive news updates monthly or bi-monthly at: www.sustainweb.org/brexit
How can we use the whole resource of public and private money and social capital to support thriving food, farming and countryside? This is an extract from Sustain's Brexit Forum newsletter, June/July 2018. Sign up to receive news updates monthly or bi-monthly at: www.sustainweb.org/brexit
A new Environment Act, green watchdog and institutions to regulate chemicals are all needed - and must be robust enough to defend our health and the natural environment. Just some of the issues being addressed in UK environment policy. This is an extract from Sustain's Brexit Forum newsletter, June/July 2018. Sign up to receive news updates monthly or bi-monthly at: www.sustainweb.org/brexit
Sustain member Feedback argues that the UK should lift the ban on feeding surplus food to pigs.
Sustain member GM Freeze welcomes the judgement which states that organisms obtained by mutagenesis are Genetically Modified Organisms and are subject to full GMO regulation.
In a new briefing out today (25 July 2018) the Sustain alliance makes the case for bringing in a new body in England to negotiate wages and better conditions for agriculture workers.
In a new briefing the Sustain alliance makes the case for bringing in a new body in England to negotiate wages and better conditions for agriculture workers.
Wildlife and Countryside Link (who are part of the Sustain alliance) have co-ordinated 25 charities to challenge the Prime Minister to be more ambitious in the scope and detail of the newly announced Environment Bill.
In six months’ time the Oxford Real Farming Conference will mark its 10th anniversary. They are looking for speakers and topic ideas to celebrate this event.
Academics, public health advocates and food and farming specialists have joined forces to call on the Prime Minister and her Cabinet, formally to recognise public health as a public good in UK agriculture policy.
Countries wanting to import meat into Europe will now have to abide by EU laws on antibiotics.
Sustain member the Gaia Foundation launches new website with all the information you need about ecologically sustainable seed systems.
A farm capable of producing over 1.5 million broiler chickens a year has been granted permission by London’s High Court despite objections.
Nourish Scotland (who are part of Sustain) believe that recent government publications on the future of Scottish agriculture give no clear direction for farming after Brexit.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimate that a third of the world’s ocean’s are overfished whilst fish consumption is at an all time high.
Policy work these days can be stifling; keeping you stuck to a desk, locked in meetings and shuffling around Westminster. It is only a matter of time before we hear news of Brexit fatigue or even burn out. The sheer volume of news and Bills and lobbying requirements makes it hard to go out and see what is happening in the field and talk to ‘real people’.
Sustain Alliance members Compassion in World Farming released a Brexit briefing this week, spelling out the gaps in animal welfare standards between the UK and its likely future trading partners. They also specified the measures needed to be put in place to protect animal welfare.
A detailed Which? survey on attitudes to Brexit also found that nine out of ten consumers think maintaining food standards after Brexit is important.
The Thomson Reuters Foundation reports that the amount of money invested in projects with a social or environmental benefit has doubled in the last year to $228 billion with strong growth in education, food and agriculture.
The Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (who are a member of Sustain) launch a new MSc programme to study sustainable food and water systems.
Following on from a piece in the Guardian about big pharmaceutical companies' marketing campaigns muddying the waters on antiobiotic use in farming, Sustain CEO Kath Dalmeny has written an opinion piece for them. You can read the piece in full here.
Big pharmaceutical companies are using social media campaigns to muddy the waters on overuse of antibiotics in farming.
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Agroecology event on ‘The Environmental Watchdog: The Legal Status of Post-Brexit Environmental Protections’ will be held on 4 July. Find out how to book.
Research from the United States Department of Agriculture shows that public funding for agricultural research and development in high-income countries has fallen 6% between 2009-2013, the first sustained drop in over 50 years.
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (who are a member of Sustain) see the plans as a ‘huge environmental risk to our landscapes.’
The Sustainable Food Trust launches a new website to campaign for local abattoirs to stay open.
Sustain ally LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) launches LEAF Education after merging with FACE (Farming and Countryside Education) last year.
On publication today (6 June) of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee Report on The future for food, farming and the environment, Sustain’s Farming Campaign Coordinator, Vicki Hird, says
Sustain member Beyond GM believes that labelling isn’t enough - we need to start producing food that people can trust.
British microbiologists have found that chlorine-washing food does not kill listeria and salmonella food poisoning bugs. The technique has been the cause of controversy relating to US and UK food standards, especially chlorine-washed chicken.
Open Farm Sunday returns on 10th June with hundreds of farms across the UK opening their gates to host a great day out for people of all ages.
This half-day seminar, 11 July 2018, will examine the question: ‘Public health as a ‘public good’ from agriculture: How can we win support for this principle from UK policy makers?’
Stormont is considering a direct payment for Northern Ireland farmers, but at a level "significantly below" current EU subsidies.
The UK Fisheries Bill, due for introduction to Parliament in 2018, needs to have a strong overall vision, to make sure fishers are guaranteed a bright, sustainable future.
Sustain has raised renewed concerns about the UK’s commitment to end overfishing, as leading European fishery policy experts highlight the need for all EU members to accelerate progress towards their agreed 2020 deadline.
The Falkland Islands government has lobbied British MPs to ensure that their fishing industry continues to have access to EU markets after Brexit, with fishing accounting for 41% of the Islands’ economy.
The Scottish Parliament voted unanimously on 15 May to withhold consent for the government’s proposed EU Withdrawal Bill. The move airs concerns that the Bill represents a power grab by Westminster over devolved policy areas such as agriculture and fisheries, as policy-setting responsibilities return to the UK from the EU.
The UK government has launched a consultation on environmental governance after Brexit, widely received with disappointment by environment and wildlife groups, with one industry commentator saying that it shows “the misperception that regulations are bad for growth still stands in the way of good environmental policymaking”.
The EU council has adopted new regulations for growing organic crops and labelling organic food.
The CSA Network have received funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to continue supporting community supported agriculture.
GM Freeze believe that the government have handed out a ‘free pass’ to plant experimental genetically engineered crops in open fields.
Members of the Sustain alliance including the Soil Association and LEAF met in Belfast this month to agree on a position for agriculture after Britain has left the EU.
The HMRC has told parliament’s Treasury Committee that a high-tech customs option for future UK imports and exports could cost UK businesses up to £20 billion per year. Agri-food currently represents 11% of trade flows by value between the UK and the EU, so food manufacturers and farmers could expect to bear some of such additional costs.
The Sainsbury’s-Asda merger is a perfect illustration of the accelerating race to the bottom in the grocery retail sector. It was a bombshell, and unless the rules – on competition, planning, environment and worker and consumer protection – are greatly enhanced and effectively applied, a significant part of society is likely to be badly hurt by this ‘mega merger’.
On 22 May Michael Gove announced plans to tackle sources of air pollution, saying the Government wants to clamp down on things like coal burning and ammonia from farms. Sustain responds
Media reports suggest that the EU has “leapt ahead of the UK in the pursuit of free trade deals with Australia and New Zealand” after member states gave the green light for talks to start within weeks.
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