The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Agroecology event on ‘The Environmental Watchdog: The Legal Status of Post-Brexit Environmental Protections’ will be held on 4 July. Find out how to book.
Sustain member the Faculty of Public Health launch a blueprint on how the UK can collaborate with Europe to defend against infectious diseases after Brexit.
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 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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.”
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 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.
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.
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 Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) is setting up a new think tank to consider the enormous implications of Brexit on trading standards
The Greener UK coalition has issued a warning that we need to act now for nature’s recovery and a healthy environment.
New trade routes formed after UK leaves the EU could leave Britain inundated with invasive species. According to Wildlife and Countryside Link last year invasive species cost Britain over £2billion.
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.
Big players in the food and drink industry formed a new partnership with the Government to make the industry ‘more resilient, sustainable and competitive.’
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.
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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
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