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.
An open event at Westminster will discuss the effect of agriculture on climate change.
A group of Oxfordshire farmers and their customers, local businesses and national policy specialists will meet on October 9 to discuss the future for local farming and the rural economy, the day before Parliament debates the future of UK farming policy and farm subsidies post-Brexit, as outlined in Secretary of State for farming Michael Gove’s draft UK Agriculture Bill.
An event at the Centre for Food Policy - who are a member of Sustain - uses 20 years of experience of the everyday food habits of children and adults to make a true change to our food culture.
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:*
The government announces a nationwide pilot to bring seasonal workers from outside the EU to work on British farms for up to six months. Sustain welcomes the news but believes it doesn’t go nearly far enough in filling the labour shortage.
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 assurance scheme says that it will introduce unannounced inspections for members that “require more scrutiny” in a move to strengthen the brand.
Sustain member the Landworkers’ Alliance are marching for the ‘right to good food’ in London on Sunday 14 October.
A jury in California has awarded a school groundskeeper $289million in damages who got terminal cancer after using a Monsanto weedkiller.
Today (28 August 2018) over 50 civil society groups sent a joint letter to the Prime Minster expressing strong support for the groundbreaking concept of paying farmers on the basis of providing public good outcomes including environmental, public health and animal welfare.
Sustain joined with eleven other farming and civil society groups to write an open letter on the need for the new Agriculture Bill to include powers to strengthen supply chain regulation. This featured in Farmers Weekly the farming magazine.
Sustain member, the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) are celebrating the ‘viability loophole’ closing after a major campaign.
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.
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.
The Prince’s Countryside Fund finding show that for the countryside to be viable, it needs better job prospects and more digital connectivity.
Two events discussing the UK’s industrial agriculture and climate change are being held by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agroecology.
Sustain member, Linking Environment and Farming, is inviting you to come and listen to teenagers’ views on agriculture.
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.
A popular “Payment by Results” (PBR) pilot farm support scheme has been granted two years of further funding as part of a programme of ‘tests and trials’ for future farm policy.
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.
Food scandals are rife and consumers aren’t being protected enough says the European consumer organization foodwatch.
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.
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.
Mars, Nestlé, Unilever and Danone aim to improve consumer health and the environment through founding the Sustainable Food Policy Alliance.
Research by Eating Better (who are a member of Sustain) shows that supermarket ready meals aren’t catering for the growing numbers of flexitarian and meat conscious customers.
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 Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (who are a member of Sustain) launch a new MSc programme to study sustainable food and water systems.
Oxfam goes ‘Behind the Barcodes’ to expose the working conditions of the people producing the food on our supermarket shelves.
In light of Asda-Sainsbury’s merger MPs want new power granted to the Groceries Code Adjudicator to prevent main supermarkets dominating groceries market.
Sustain member the Vegetarian Society reassures shoppers after The Telegraph reported traces of animal DNA in a vegan product.
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 has supported the publication of this new report on agroforestry along with many members to show how agroforestry can provide many useful outcomes for farmers and the environment.
Sustain has the following initial comments in response to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) preliminary invitation to comment on the anticipated merger between J Sainsbury PLC and Asda Group Ltd. Sustain is the UK alliance for better food and farming and a registered charity, number 1018643. We represent around 100 not-for-profit national organisations and many more at local level, working together to achieve a healthy, fair, humane and sustainable system for food, farming and fishing. This submission reflects discussions of the alliance and others on this topic but given the timeframe we have not sought official member endorsement of every detail.
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.
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 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.
There’s a showcase event for a unique organisation which brings academics and those working in food together to analyse our food system.
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