Human health should be priority of agriculture policy

The Food Research Collaboration interviewed farmers to hear how they can champion public health.

Cattle in a field. Photo credit: Pexels

Cattle in a field. Photo credit: Pexels

The crops farmers grow and the methods they use have enormous potential either to improve or to undermine public health, with linked benefits (or costs) to both the environment and the wider economy. However, the Food Research Collaboration highlight that human health is not prioritised in agriculture policy, either at present or in the proposed Agriculture Bill.

In collaboration with the RSA Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, the Food Research Collaboration interviewed a range of farmers to ask them whether human health featured in their work and decision making. Their report presents a selection of their responses, in their own words.

Farmers are at the beginning of long, complex supply chains. The report questions whether farmers are too remote from health outcomes to be able to take them into account, or too focused on the business case to be able to prioritise something so intangible.

You can also read the RSA Food, Farming and Countryside Commission's report ‘Our Future in the Land' and their companion document, Field Guide for the Future, which shares the stories, experiences and learning of farmers and growers.

Sustain campaigns for the inclusion of public health as one of the public goods covered in the Government's forthcoming Agriculture Bill.

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