Pull down the pillars of the EU farm policy and create a strong future for UK farmers after Brexit, major alliance of food and farming groups tells next Government
Sustain (1) - an alliance of 94 organisations with a combined public membership of millions - today launched a new briefing - ‘Beyond 2020: New farm policy’ (2).
It recommends that the next Government should retain taxpayer support for farmers after Brexit, but replace the old two pillar EU system with a new four-part deal for farming based on payments for public goods, capital grants, free advice and wider policy measures to ensure farmers can thrive.
Key proposals are that the next Government should:
Vicki Hird, Sustainable Farming Campaign Coordinator for the Sustain alliance, said:
“Farming is a business but it is so much more. Our proposals recognise that farming provides wider public benefits including thriving rural communities, valued farm workers, good nutrition, a protected and nurtured environment and wildlife, and high animal welfare.
“The next Government has a once in a lifetime opportunity with Brexit to end some of the absurdities of Europe’s Common Agricultural Policy, which has not supported small and family farms well and which contributed to a loss of farmland diversity and wildlife. Our alliance proposals present a practical way forward and a basis that the Government could use for common ground between the industry, and those groups championing the rural economy, conservation, public health and development.”
Sustain believes that a focus on high volume, low standard production is a real risk, posed by a de-regulatory agenda and new international trade deals, and wrong for the future well-being of our nation and the UK farming industry. Our future policies must also not harm farmers in the global south or lead to weaker standards.
Pippa Woods, farmers and Director of Family Farmers Association says: "These excellent proposals contain most of the objectives family farmers have been working towards since 1979. If achieved we will have a happy countryside and plenty of wholesome home produced food.”
‘Beyond 2020: New farm policy’ proposes crucial wider policy measures, including; a strengthened and extended Groceries Code Adjudicator; maintenance the organic legal standards and new labelling regulations; reforms to farm tenancy rules and strong worker protection; high standards for public procurement of food; and trade policies that promote these commitments, including transparent trade deals that must demonstrate how they support and do not undermine UK farming.
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Contact details: Vicki Hird, Sustainable Farming Campaign Coordinator for the Sustain alliance, email@example.com; tel: 0203 5596 777 m: 07903478249
Specific support is proposed for farming for carbon reduction, as well as nutritional and economic benefits including: increasing agroforestry; boosting domestic and sustainable fruit and vegetable production; and support for new entrants and farm succession. The proposal also includes the need to provide:
Food and Farming Policy
Food and Farming Policy: Sustain encourages integration of sustainable food and farming into local, regional and national government policies.
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Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare of people and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society and culture.