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.
Chief Executive of Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming, Kath Dalmeny said:
"Michael Gove has already succeeded in making some significant changes such as banning microbeads and bee-harming pesticides, and introducing CCTV cameras into abattoirs to monitor animal welfare. The Sustain alliance of food and farming organisations welcomes the news that he is to keep his job and look forward to working with him on creating a 'Better Food Britain' after Brexit.
"Michael Gove has committed to directing farming subsidies away from wealthy landowners and towards farmers and projects that promote 'public good'. Designed in the right way, this would be better for our health, the environment and diverse farming livelihoods. We will watch with interest to see how his proposals take shape, to support sustainable farming, urgent environmental improvements and to encourage better food for schools and hospitals.
"We particularly welcome his recent comments at the Oxford Farming Conference about developing a new scheme or measure to indicate high quality food production, as long as it builds on existing accreditation. We were, however, alarmed at reports that he may be bowing to American pressure on food safety and quality in order to advance future trade talks. Sustain remains opposed to accepting low quality, low welfare meat from the United States in exchange for trade deals and will continue to campaign against this. We need trade deals to be governed by the values of the British public, and open to proper public and parliamentary scrutiny."
Brexit: We stand at a cross-roads. When the UK leaves the European Union, will our leaders uphold good standards for our food, farming, fishing and trade deals? And will they agree a sensible deal with the EU? We need to make sure that they do!
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