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.
These briefings have been developed in consultation with members of Sustain and other specialists. Sustain is a UK registered charity, operating as an alliance of around 100 national organisations promoting healthy, fair and sustainably produced food, for the benefit of everyone.
In appreciation of the very large volume of work and information relating to Brexit, we have endeavoured to be succinct. Should you require further information or support, please get in touch. The four short briefings are:
Responding to Defra’s current ‘Health and Harmony’ command paper: How we would like to see UK Agriculture policy develop – to help promote farm diversity, champion rural workers and communities; and to back the call for “public money for public goods”, including championing “public health as a public good”.
The UK Fisheries Bill white paper is due imminently – we want to help diverse UK fishers and coastal communities; to secure sustainably managed fisheries and marine ecosystems; and to build the market for sustainable British fish.
Trade discussions have already begun and the UK is free to strike deals in the Brexit implementation period, so mandates for our negotiators need to be set now. Sustain’s 10 red lines for UK trade in foodaim to ensure that British values of democracy, fair trading, good quality food, animal welfare, workers’ rights, consumer protection and public health are centre stage in UK trade policy. We want parameters for UK trade negotiators to be set transparently, with public and parliamentary scrutiny; and for parliament to get a vote on trade deals.
The promise of trade deals offering ‘cheap food’ is alluring, but should the UK lower food standards to win trade deals? We argue for a balanced approach that provides ‘affordable food’ that is safe to eat and limits highly processed, sugary, fatty and salty foods that harm our health. We also want deals that return enough value to farmers and food producers to enable them to make a decent living, and to manage their workers, animals and land responsibly.
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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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.