In a new environmental policy ‘The Green Transformation’, released yesterday, Labour set out bold new proposals for fishing as part of three key priorities; addressing climate change, air and water quality, and reversing biodiversity loss.
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:*
Twenty young people from Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio, Blackburn Central High School & St Thomas’s participated in the Future Food Inquiry. The group included young people working with Food Power
In light of Asda-Sainsbury’s merger MPs want new power granted to the Groceries Code Adjudicator to prevent main supermarkets dominating groceries market.
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Infant Feeding and Inequalities has launched an inquiry on the costs of infant formula to families in the UK and the impact that the choice of infant formula, and the purchase of infant formula is having on the health, well-being and financial situation of families.
Parliament's Health and Social Care Committee has published a new inquiry report on Childhood Obesity, calling for better government leadership and a range of measures to curb junk food marketing. Sustain & Children's Food Campaign respond.
The Health Select Committee’s Inquiry on childhood obesity took evidence from several government ministers yesterday. During proceedings, Public Health Minister Steve Brine commented that Brexit was an opportunity ‘to take back control’ of our food labelling.
The House of Lords has voted in favour of 15 significant amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill, set to return to the House of Commons within weeks. Several are highly relevant to standards for food, farming and fishing.
Currently, half of the UK’s food is imported, 30% of it comes from the EU. Being part of the EU customs union has meant that food from the EU can enter the UK easily with no tariffs.
As Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall launches #BritainsFatFight, a new Parents' Jury survey wants to hear your views on how far advertising and promotions of unhealthy foods are influencing children's food preferences, and what you would like to see companies and the government do about junk food marketing.
As the Parliamentary Health and Social Care Select Committee opens its first oral enquiry on Childhood Obesity today, Sustain and Children's Food Campaign have called for renewed cross-governmental leadership across tax, advertising regulations, education and farming policies.
Sustain has written to all MPs to provide briefings on four major areas of policy. These topics are covered in a number of Defra and Department for International Trade white papers or command papers, expected shortly, or which are currently out for consultation. Bills are due to be brought before Parliament in this session.
Australia is reportedly set to demand that Britain imports hormone-treated beef under a post-Brexit trade deal. Hormone-treated beef has been banned for years from all EU countries on safety grounds.
The House of Lords has passed a motion regretting proposed Government changes in eligibility rules for Free School Meals under Universal Credit, and called for a full poverty impact assessment before anything is implemented.
The second reading of Emma Lewell Buck MP's household food insecurity measurement bill has been postponed to October due to time constraints.
9 in 10 members of the Children's Food Campaign Parents' Jury members say they support Free School Meals for all school-age children living in households in poverty, as Parliament is set for crucial debate.
Objections have been raised in both Houses of Parliament to the Government's plan to introduce a net earnings threshold of £7400 for eligibility for Free School Meals under Universal Credit, triggering renewed calls to extend provision to include all children in poverty.
Fresh analysis by Sustain published today flags food safety fears for future UK trade deals.Figures suggest that the percentage of people who fall ill with food poisoning annually is ten times higher in the US than the UK. Sustain fears treating increased food poisoning could increase deaths from food poisoning and cost the NHS and UK economy at least £1bn extra per year.
Last week Sustain submitted evidence to the Trade Bill Committee in Parliament. In it we argued that cheap food imports are a risk to our health and to 3.9m jobs in the UK's food and farming industries.
During December 2017 and January 2018, the UK Labour Party consulted on their policies for coastal communities, in particular fishing and the fishing industry. Read on for Sustainable Fish Cities' response to this consultation.
After successfully passing its first reading in November 2017, Emma Lewell-Buck MP’s Household Food Insecurity Bill will have its second reading on Friday 2 February 2018. There is still time to ask your MP to support this bill either by submiting an e-action or by calling your MP’s office.
There is still time to contact your MP to ask them to support Frank Field’s Holiday Hunger Bill before its second reading on Friday 19th of January. The End Hunger UK campaign have created a template message that can be used to contact your MP.
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.
Ahead of the Government's 25 Year Environment Plan released tomorrow, Sustain respond with some of the issues they hope will be addressed relating to food and farming. To help keep track of this long wish list - they've produced a bingo card and will be hoping for a full house.
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.
Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove delivered a speech at the 2018 Oxford Farming Conference today - Farming for the next generation. Read on for Sustain's response
Kath Dalmeny, Sustain CEO gave oral evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee on 6th December. On behalf of Sustain alliance members (and whilst handing out Manifestos for a Better Food Britain printed on spoof beermats), she expressed deep concern that the beguiling promise of ‘cheap food’ from new international trade deals could result in serious risks and costs to health, animal welfare and British farming livelihoods.
Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee challenges Government Ministers on whether the 'one in, three out' principle will apply to UK environmental regulation post-Brexit, receiving a non-committal response.
Presented by Emma Lewell-Buck MP, the Bill will now have a second reading in February 2018
Sustain is supporting the Trade Justice Movement in its call for future trade deals to be open and democratic, ensuring that the UK uses new trade relationships to support sustainable development rathe than a global race to the bottom.
The campaign asks MPs to support the bill during it's reading on 29 November, when it will be put forward by Emma Lewell-Buck MP.
In the Conservative Home website Julian Sturdy MP writes on fairness in the supply chain.
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.
Efra, the food and farming scrutiny committee, and the House of Lords Constitution Committee have announced inquiries on different aspects of Brexit -- likely to be the first of many. They are asking for submissions from the public, and Sustain will be working with partners to coordinate responses.
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.
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.
As Parliament regroups after the snap election, the names of the chairs of Parliament's influential, cross-party Select Committees have been listed.
Vicki Hird, Sustain’s Farm Campaign Coordinator features in the BBC Panorama programme to be broadcast today (10 July 2017) talking on the likely impact on our food and farming of a new trade deal with the United States. [Update: the programme can now be viewed on Iplayer - http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b08y7nm6/panorama-britains-food-farming-the-brexit-effect ]
A coalition of green grups has launched a "risk tracker" to assess which environmental policies are secure, and which are at risk from politicians seeking to weaken environmental standards.
Considered until recently to be an unrealistic 'ask' that would alienate businesses, the idea that pay ratios should be published has found its way into both Labour and Conservative election manifestos. Sustain welcomes the development, because some of the widest pay ratios are in the food sector.
Sustain respond to Labour's announcement that they would ban junk food advertising on all TV shows broadcast before 9pm as part of plans to tackle childhood obesity.
Two useful sources of information for food workers and campaigners trying to keep a tab on how withdrawal from the EU will affect food and food policy.
The event on 22 May focuses on the benefis of agroforestry, the thinking being that growing upwards as well as at ground level increases productivity, making the best use of light, nutrients and moisture.
The Lords Economic Affairs Committee is calling for written evidence on the importance of EU workers to the UK economy, and on what the impacts might be if immigration from the EU were to be curbed.
Read our response to the publication of the Environmental Audit Committee report on The Future of the natural Environment after the EU Referendum.
On 6 December 2016 MPs debated the issue of household food insecurity measurement in the UK, referencing the work of the Food Foundation and Sustain.
The government has published a major overhaul of its earlier proposal to restrict universities, charities and community groups from advocating policy change when in receipt of public funding.
Compassion in World Farming calls for support for a Bill that would give local authority ports the right to reject live animal freight.
Food policy is spread over various departments and policy areas, so there are several noteworthy appointments in the government formed by PM Theresa May after the EU referendum
The Green House
244-254 Cambridge Heath Road
Projects & campaigns
Better Food Britain
Better Hospital Food
Children's Food Campaign
Food and Farming Policy
Food co-ops toolkit
Good Food For London
London Food Link
Planning Food Cities
Real Bread Campaign
Roots to work
Save Our Antibiotics
Sugar Smart UK
Sustainable Fish Cities
Sustainable Food Cities
The Big Dig
Urban Food Fortnight