The Institute for Fiscal Studies has issued a new report today which shows that if we choose to abolish all tariffs on products, inlcuding food, entering the UK when we exit the EU this “would have only a limited impact on the cost of living of the average household.”
Children’s health experts fear a future trade deal with the US could undermine UK efforts to reduce sugar consumption and import American levels of diet-related diseases alongside their produce.
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.
Hotels, pubs, bars and restaurants are on a hiring spree - despite a consumer downturn - because they fear a shortage of migrant workers when Britain leaves the EU.
GM Freeze call for compulsory GM labelling and strict regulation on growing and importing GM crops.
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.
An influential UK free-trade think tank has identified eating American beef as a ‘gain’ for British consumers from post-Brexit trade deals, whilst claiming food safety and health concerns about US food standards are ‘myths’.
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.
New data revealed by the Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics has revealed that livestock raised for food in the US are dosed with five times as much antibiotic medicine as farm animals in the UK.
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.
Many are now deeply concerned that in the race to secure international trade deals, the UK may come under severe pressure to compromise our food standards – a damaging race to the bottom. Sustain's Kath Dalmeny sets out how trade deals must now be used to promote a beneficial race to the top.
A conference on the Implications of Brexit for Rural Land Management and Fisheries in Wales will take place on Tuesday 13th February 2018, 11am-4pm a the Medrus Centre, Aberystwyth University. Speakers are from the Wales Centre for Public Policy and Sustain alliance member New Economics Foundation.
The Soil Association release 10 food safety concerns with a transatlantic trade deal. The list includes ractopamine in pork, flame retardant in citrus drinks and chicken litter being used as animal feed.
The Government is told to take action on cruel puppy trade, live farm animal exports, foie gras and fur imports to ensure UK can maintain its role as pioneer for animals.
Sustain has been delighted to read the poems of Adam Horowitz following his launch at the Oxford Real Farming Conference in January 2018. The Soil Never Sleeps is the second full collection of poetry by Adam Horovitz, published by Palewell Press in January 2018.
Sustain responds to the Russell Hume steak and gammon recall, expressing concern about food safety, and also the recent decline in meat hygiene inspectors, public health laboratory services and the Food Standards Agency. How can we trust the meat on our plates?
The National Farmers' Union highlights the forthcoming UK Agriculture Bill as "a golden opportunity to build a system that works for British farmers". The NFU has published a range of vision statements to deliver these messages to politicians and the public, seeking to "build consensus for a vision of a thriving farming sector post-Brexit and beyond".
Members of the Greener UK alliance have expressed "serious concerns" that UK environmental protections will be reduced after Brexit, despite the Government's promises to put the environment into a better state for the next generation.
Sustain member Unite the Union, whose hundreds of thousands of members include food and farming workers, has launched a new Brexit Check website to help protect union members from the possible impact of Brexit at work.
A collection of essays has been published, curated by the Health Foundation. It features contributions from Kath Dalmeny of Sustain; Sue Davies of Which?; Councillor Richard Kemp from Liverpool; Nina Renshaw of the European Public Health Alliance; and Karen Steadman of the Work Foundation; as well as considerations for policy-makers.
Initial Sustain response to the publication of the new Government 25 year Environment Plan By Prime Minister Theresa May today.
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.
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.
Sustain questions Wetherspoon Chairman Tim Martin's opinion that food prices will fall after Brexit, and argues that - in any case - cheap food would come at a cost - to food quality, British jobs and British farmers.
An inquiry by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Agroecology for Food and Farming shows an overriding concern that food security, environmental protection and welfare standards may be significantly weakened by Brexit.
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
According to a report from Bloomberg Politics (which you can read here) the US is ‘sick and tired’ of us going on about chlorine-washed chicken, claiming that they don’t really use chlorine washes in their farming any more. Read Sustain's response.
The British Government has reportedly demanded total secrecy in its free trade talks with the US for a post-Brexit deal, in an exclusive story from The Independent newspaper.
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.
Consumers' Christmas turkey could have been washed in four disinfectants if the UK agrees a post-Brexit trade deal with the USA, according to a new briefing paper by leading food policy experts.
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.
Pub operator JD Wetherspoon has issued a new beer mat accusing business leaders of misleading the public on expected food price hikes after Brexit. Sustain responds.
Director General of the World Trade Organisation has warned the UK that prices would be likely to rise after a ‘hard Brexit; due to supply chain disruption and WTO tariffs, which would be especially high on agricultural products.
Chief Executive of the Green Alliance Shaun Spiers argues that the environmental consequences of the UK crashing out of the EU with ‘no deal’ will be severe.
Sustain's CEO Kath Dalmeny reflects on alliance successes over the past year, and looks forward to an intense and potentially transformative 2018, in which Brexit will keep us busy, but other priorities for food, farming and fishing must not be forgotten.
The UK's Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, has responded to concerns expressed by the Sustain alliance, relating to US food standards such as chlorine-dipped chicken, hormone-reared beef, food irradiation and high fructose corn syrup in processed foods. Read our alliance letter, and Dr Liam Fox's response here.
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.
A major new piece of research from the New Economics Foundation explores scenarios for what Brexit will mean for the UK’s fishing industry.
How can the UK Government take action on the environment and animal welfare in a post Brexit era? Join George Monbiot, Julia Davenport of Good Energy, Karla Hill of ClientEarth and MEP Catherine Bearder for Wildlife & Countryside Link's for a stimulating debate in Woking on 4th December.
Government ministers launched the Trade Bill within hours of the consultation closing - meaning that tens of thousands of responses were not considered. The bill affects a wide range of issues from food safety to GM crops to the NHS.
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.
When the UK leaves the European Union it will be a World Trade Organisation (WTO) member negotiating in its own right - not as part of a block - on trade commitments. There are huge concerns over what that will mean for our food and farming system. We are running events and producing materials to help members understand the implications. This is a short primer on the WTO, trade rules and commitments and the status of the UK before and after Brexit.
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.
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.
Sir Ian Cheshire, chair of Barclays UK and Debenhams and the former Kingfisher chief executive, will chair a major new Commission into the Future of Food and Farming, organised by the RSA [Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce].
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.
The RSA will be launching a new independent commission to explore a big Brexit rethink, to help move towards healthier diets, thriving farming and a well-protected countryside. Poor diets are a major public health challenge of our time, says Jonathan Schifferes, Associate Director of Public Services and Communities for the RSA.
Despite reassurances from Government, the Repeal Bill puts in jeopardy the laws, standards and institutions that protect the healthiness and sustainability of our food, farming and fishing. The coming months will be a maelstrom of political argument and horse-trading. Good food sense is under threat, but must prevail, says Kath Dalmeny of Sustain.
The first of the big Brexit Bills is now upon us. On Thursday September 7, the EU (Withdrawal) Bill (also known as the Repeal Bill) will have its second reading in Parliament. It will establish the new foundations of how UK law will in future be created, governed, scrutinised and enforced.
Shadow Secretary of State for Brexit Keir Starmer has lodged a Reasoned Amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill (also known as the Repeal Bill), effectively opposing the second reading of the legislation, arguing that it fails to restore full sovereign power to the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
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Projects & campaigns
Better Hospital Food
Children's Health Fund
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