Our 2018 Priorities
We’ve been calling on the Government to give food and farming a higher priority than ever before.
The Agriculture Bill consultation paper gives a unique opportunity to direct agricultural policy. We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to transform our relationship with food, farming and the countryside for the better.
Why is this important?
Through food and farming, we can tackle some of the most challenging issues that the UK faces. Challenges such as climate change, public health, soil protection and farm animal welfare.
What are we asking for?
We’re proposing eight policies that we’d like to see at the heart of the Government’s food and farming vision, which will help address these challenges. These are:
- Investing in healthy soils – through soil stewardship payments, mandatory soil testing, incentives for more grass and clover, and agroforestry
- Zero carbon farming by 2050 – a commitment to ensuring the agriculture and food sector plays its part in tackling climate change, in line with the Paris Agreement
- Funding for farmer-led research – allocate 10% of the current research and development budget for innovative agriculture projects led by farmers themselves
- Stronger support for organic farming – building on the current system to increase the amount of land farmed using organic methods to benefit the environment and improve animal welfare, and to meet growing consumer demand for organic food
- A ‘good life’ for all farm animals within 10 years – setting a new welfare framework for all farm animals supported by the mandatory method of production labelling, stronger regulation of farm antibiotic use, and public investment to help farmers make the transition
- Investing in child health – commit to creating an environment where it is normal, easy and enjoyable for children and young people to eat well
- Better public procurement – to widen public access to healthier, higher welfare, local and organic food and to build stable markets for farmers and growers
- Every hospital becomes a ‘beacon of good food’ – contributing towards the ‘radical upgrade in prevention and public health’ called for in the NHS Five Year Forward View
We’re also highlighting the need for more coordinated working across departments and with devolved administrations - and better resourcing of DEFRA is also essential.