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
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?’
Sustain has submitted evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee ‘Sustainable Seas’ inquiry, urging government to make more use of the very significant buying power of the public and food business sectors to secure a sustainable future for fish stocks and marine ecosystems.
Secretary of State Michael Gove MP has said that the UK would accept US food standards “over my dead body”, in an interview with good food advocate Rosie Boycott at the Hay Festival, 2018.
Country Land and Business Associates (CLA) has proposed a new Land Management Contract for the payment for delivery of public benefits.
Brexit transition arrangements recently agreed between the UK and EU, set to last until the end of 2020, should reassure seafood companies and provide opportunities to prepare for the future, said UK fisheries minister George Eustice.
The UK Farming Roundtable has called on government to prioritise taking “every step to retain and protect a single market access for food, agricultural commodities, live animals and plant products throughout the UK”.
Ben Bradley MP has introduced a new Bill to parliament to create a network of wildflower corridors to help bees and other pollinators.
More than 44,000 responses were received on the Government’s ‘Health and Harmony’ proposals for the future for food, farming and the environment after Brexit, with at least one third estimated to have been generated by Sustain members.
The Faculty of Public Health, representing around 4,000 health professionals, has called on the government to recognise public health as a public good in farm policy.
An independent Farm Inspection and Regulation Review (England) is underway, commissioned by Defra.
A very useful compendium of food and farming evidence has been published by Defra.
Sustain has made it’s submission to the Defra Health and Harmony future farm policy consultation, drawing on the expertise of our strong and growing alliance. The moment feels historic.
Sustain provided written and oral evidence to the MPs' Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committeei Inquiry into the Government’s consultation: ‘Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit.’
The UK pork industry is currently unsustainable both in economic and environmental terms. To create a sustainable UK livestock industry that can thrive, we need to return to the practice of feeding food waste to pigs says Christina O'Sullivan of Feedback: The environmental organisation campaigning to change the food system.
At the consultation event co-hosted with Sustain and DEFRA on 10 April 2018, Michael Gove, Defra Secretary of State urged people to take advantage of the Defra consultation on Future Farming to 'make it clear what you want’ saying “I want a food and farming policy that reflects what the people in the country want – higher standards and better outcomes.” and noted the need to “stop it being shaped by vested interests to imprint their agenda.”
DEFRA, in partnership with Sustain, is hosting a consultation event in London on 10 April to capture local and member viewpoints on its public consultation: ‘Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment’
Join Hungry City author Carolyn Steel, Guardian journalist Felicity Lawrence, RSPB biodiversity specialist Lucy Bjorck and Kath Dalmeny of Sustain for an evening of debate on the future of our food system, post-Brexit.
Book your ticket now for the Future of Farming conference, run by the Sustainable Food Trust and featuring talks by Secretary of State for Defra Michael Gove and NFU President Minette Batters, among many others.
The Greener UK coalition has issued a warning that we need to act now for nature’s recovery and a healthy environment.
Fresh analysis from Sustain, the food and farming alliance, suggests that Britain’s domestic regulators are hopelessly ill equipped for the extra work load that leaving the EU will entail.
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.
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.
18 environmental groups, co-ordinated by Wildlife and Countryside Link, respond to the latest Government waste and recycling figures by demanding legally binding targets.
A parliamentary committee has told the government’s Brexit and trade negotiators that they must not sacrifice Britain’s high food standards in order to secure trade deals.
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 much trailed environment plan has been anticipated in much the same way as the Stone Roses Second Coming. Although not five years in the making, there was still the suspicion that the plan was going to struggle to please the fans.
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.
Prime Minister Theresa May has reshuffled her Cabinet but Secretary of State for Defra Michael Gove has remained in post. Sustain welcomes his continued tenure, but also highlights the need to keep up the pressure to turn his promises into reality.
The January 2018 Oxford Real Farming Conference will go down in collective memory as a milestone in our movement’s history, filled to the rafters with 900 food and farming colleagues, questions, conversation and debate. The event featured a Q&A with Defra Secretary Michael Gove, and seven lively sessions on the implications of Brexit for food and farming, stewarded by Sustain.
A UN compliance committee is considering a complaint submitted by Sustain member Friends of the Earth, alleging that the UK government has breached the Aarhus Convention by not consulting the British public over the EU Withdrawal Bill
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) is the Government’s principal body for managing the seas around England.
Briefing for parliamentarians and policy makers, from the Greener UK coalition of environmental organisations, working with Sustain, to support sustainable fisheries management post-Brexit.
The rich debate about how we deliver new farming and land management support after we leave the CAP is getting interesting. As we anticipate the White Paper on a new UK Agriculture Bill in 2018 choices are presenting themselves. How will new schemes work out on the farm? How will decisions actually get made? The following are ideas for the discussion ahead.
There was excellent news today for Sustain members who have been working for several years to see a ban on a pesticide that harms bees and other insects. DEFRA Secretary of State Gove announced the UK would vote in the EU for a ban on its use.
The government has rejected recommendations from a committee of MPs on the best way to reduce food waste. Sustain member Feedback, who campaign to tackle food waste, are now launching a petition calling on Michael Gove to support EU targets.
The Huffington Post is today reporting that Ministers do not know how how much it will cost the UK to replace the EU’s regulatory functions if we leave the EU with no deal. Parliamentary Answers given to Labour MP Mary Creagh appear to show that the staff, investment and buildings needed for the UK to maintain standards in vital areas like food safety have not been calculated.
Yesterday in Parliament, Dr Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, reiterated his opinion that chlorine-washed chicken is safe to eat and that he had no objection to it being sold to the British public. Yet US food standards also raise questions about hormone-reared beef and dairy, food irradiation and Salmonella in eggs.
The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, last week launched the Sustainable Soils Alliance (SSA) warning that “we have incentivised and encouraged a type of farming in this country which has damaged soil.”
Sustain welcomes a new government initiative which helps small scale farmers and food producers supply to schools, hospitals and the forces.
Our food standards and food industry look set to face a ‘perfect storm’ from rising food prices, regulatory uncertainties, greatly diminished capacity of food inspectors and standards bodies, and likely challenges from international trade deals with countries working to lower food standards than our own. This critical analysis is published by the Sustain food and farming alliance, as their submission to the EFRA enquiry into trade in food.
Conservative MPs have joined forced with the Conservative Environment Network (CEN) calling for the environment to be given a higher profile at the heart of policy making. “Thinking differently about our environment: a holistic approach to policy” is a collection of essays by MPs arguing that we can reap previously unrecognised benefits by embedding the environment in all areas of public policy. They also emphasise the benefits of harnessing horticulture and using the environment to improve health outcomes - a key consideration for Sustain and its members.
An article co-authored by Defra's Chief Scientific Officer argues that better regulation is needed to control how pesticides are used and affect the environment at a landscape scale.
The Real Bread Campaign is taking the next step in its call for an Honest Crust Act by asking supporters and friends to sign a letter to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove. Campaign coordinator Chris Young looks at why this protection is needed by Britain’s shoppers and small, independent bakeries.
From today (12 September) the Real Bread Campaign is asking everyone who cares about bread in Britain to sign a letter to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, calling for an Honest Crust Act.
In the UK, food products that carry 'protected food names' are on average sold at almost twice the price of comparable food, worth around £1bn to the UK economy. But so far, Defra has not stepped up to the challenge of championing protected food names in EU negotiations and the Repeal Bill, argues Gerry Danby of Artisan Food Law.
What should Labour fight for in the post Brexit farm policy era? We will be exploring this at an event on 24th September alongside SERA, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) and The Land Workers' Alliance.
Sustain's Chief Executive Kath Dalmeny reports on a meeting with Michael Gove, the opportunities this presents, and her sense that the time has come for Sustain and alliance members to step ever more confidently onto the national stage.
As the Queen's speech confirmed, we are to get a new Agriculture Act after we leave the EU and its Common Agriculture Policy, We had a quick rummage into the past to see what the last one said and it was rather interesting.
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