MPs were falling over themselves to show interest in farming during the six hour Second Reading of the Agriculture Bill on 10 October. The Debate ended with a vote on a Labour reasoned amendment on the Bill's lack fo reference to food security - a frequent comment throughout the debate. The vote was lost and so the Bill now goes to committee stage.
The Campaign believes The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ response to its call for improved loaf labelling and marketing legislation is a failure to protect shoppers and small, independent bakeries.
In light of a newspaper front page revelation, the Campaign has renewed its long-standing call for a legal definition, and criteria for use, of 'freshly-baked' and similar marketing claims.
The sandwich retailer Pret a Manger has promised to display full ingredients lists, following the tragic death of teenager Natasha Ednan-Laperouse as the result of her allergic reaction after eating a Pret baguette that she did not know contained sesame.
The MP for Macclesfield is to oversee the protection of UK food supplies amid concerns of a no-deal Brexit.
In the month that the Real Bread Campaign is helping to share the delicious delights of genuine sourdough, and champion the people who make it, Campaign coordinator Chris Young questions the way some industrial loaf fabricators are using the term.
Three politically charged words sum up the problem of trying to assess whether the draft Agriculture Bill published last week will work: budget, duties and trade. Will there be a budget to do what it needs to deliver? Will any of the powers in the Bill mean anything if they do not need to be taken up? And how does any of this matter if we end up with a poor or ‘no deal’ with the EU and deals with other counties that undermine standards? All these are huge unknowns yet they may have deep impacts on whether the Bill delivers a better farming future. With those fundamental uncertainties in mind, and the fact that the Bill has its second reading on 10 October, the following are ten key questions about the Bill and our attempts to answer them:*
Sustain with SERA - Labour's Environment Campaign - and Wildlife & Countryside link (including WWT, RSPB, Woodland Trust, RSPCA and National Trust) are hosting an event at the Labour part Conference 25 September, Liverpool.
The NAO has warned that the government has failed to hire enough vets to process exports from the UK and there are fears that this means food and livestock could be delayed at UK borders after Brexit.
Last month the government released a White Paper outlining their proposals for managing fisheries and marine life after Brexit, and the public have the opportunity to give feedback until 12th September.
Peter Melchett, policy director of the Soil Association and a member with Sustain of the steering group of the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, passed away peacefully on 29 August 2018. Antibiotics campaigner Emma Rose and Sustain chief executive Kath Dalmeny pay personal tribute.
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.
Leading marine NGOs have issued a rallying cry: write to Michael Gove now to call for better post-Brexit fishing policy
Three months after the Real Bread Campaign wrote to Defra on the issue of industrial loaf fabricators using refined flour in loaves marketed as ‘wholemeal’, the department has replied.
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
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/brexi
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.
The UK Government has today committed to negotiate with the EU for "a common rule book for all goods including agri-food" - Sustain's chief executive Kath Dalmeny welcomes the aspiration and raises concerns about the detail.
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’.
The Government today opened a consultation on the future of UK fisheries; despite warm promises about sustainability, they propose no clear target for sustainable fishing, data collection or funding
Replying to a parliamentary question prompted by the Real Bread Campaign’s latest loaf labelling crusade, the Minister of State at Defra has rejected any improvement “in the interests of reducing unnecessary regulatory burden”.
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.
Do you think that shoppers and small, independent local bakeries deserve better protection from the effects of incomplete loaf labelling and potentially misleading marketing?
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.
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