An investigation by Sustainable Fish Cities, and published today in the Independent, has found that UK fishers are losing out on markets worth an estimated £62 million because UK companies are buying-in sustainable fish from overseas.
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
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.
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 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.
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 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 House of Commons Library has produced a range of helpful documents, including this recently updated Brexit Timeline, covering the period 2016 to 2020.
Three separate parliamentary committees - as well as supermarket and food manufacturing associations – and former government trade advisors – have warned that the UK is ill-prepared for future trade deals.
The House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee has said the Government should prioritise a free trade agreement with the EU to protect the UK food manufacturing industry and hundreds of thousands of British jobs.
Food Brexit is a major food industry conference that will take place in London on 1 November 2018, with Sustain’s chief executive Kath Dalmeny speaking in a session focusing on the opportunities, risks and challenges of implementing a US-UK trade deal.
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”.
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.
Justice Secretary David Gauke announced yesterday the government’s intention to put offenders to work in sectors likely to be hit by the UK leaving the European Union. This could include catering, retail, manufacturing and agriculture.
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.
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 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.
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.
Former Chancellor and now Harvard research fellow Ed Balls has published a research paper (co-written with fellow researcher Peter Sands) on the latest thinking of senior trade negotiation officials in the US and UK. You can read the full paper here.
Country Land and Business Associates (CLA) has proposed a new Land Management Contract for the payment for delivery of public benefits.
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.
The Government confirmed on 16 May that the ‘Do No Harm’ public health duty will remain as a central tenet of UK policy after the UK leaves the European Union.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
The loss of Geographical Indication (GI) after leaving the EU could cost the UK food industry billions of pounds.
Liam Fox is due to give a speech today in which he will reportedly say that it is 'anti-trade' and a 'myth' to point out that future trade deals we sign after Brexit could result in a 'degradation of food and environmental standards'. He says this is a false claim and even says it is a 'deception'.
New research has shown that over 75% of pig farmers and agricultural professionals support overturning the current ban on feeding leftovers to pigs.
A national tour is asking the public about what matters to them about food, farming and countryside, as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU.
The president of the American National Farmer’s Union says chlorine-washed chicken and hormone injected beef is “perfectly safe” and there has been a lot of “fear-mongering.”
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.’
New analysis, reported in the Guardian today, has found that both the UK fishing industry and consumers would be financially worse off from a hard Brexit.
A parliamentary report into the impact of Brexit on the processed food and drink sector has found that a no EU deal scenario would be disastrous for UK exports and should be avoided.
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.
The absence of serious consideration of food flows into, out of and through Northern Ireland is a significant policy omission in the ongoing Brexit negotiations, argue Professor Tim Lang and authors from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is concerned the EU Withdrawal Bill will not provide any effective protection for workers’ rights. Instead it would provide UK Ministers “with wide-ranging powers to repeal, dilute or limit hard-won employment rights”.
The Faculty of Public Health and a coalition of public health groups, including Sustain, are supporting a Lords amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, called the ‘Do No Harm’ amendment, and tabled by Crossbench Peer Lord Warner.
The Institute for Government has published a report on Devolution after Brexit, 'Managing the environment, agriculture and fisheries', recommending changes to the way the governments of the four UK nations interact and make decisions.
Friends of the Earth is warning of risks to fish and the environment from a not-so-green Brexit, following an analysis of likely scenarios by Sheffield University.
A labour body has introduced a £200 fee for finding people who speak good English as competition for seasonal agricultural workers grows.
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.”
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.
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Projects & campaigns
Better Hospital Food
Children's Food Campaign
Food and Farming Policy
Food co-ops toolkit
Good Food For London
London Food Link
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Roots to work
Save Our Antibiotics
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Sustainable Food Cities
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