Food production must remain at heart of Agriculture Bill
10th Oct 2018 / By Alistair Driver
The Agriculture Bill represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop a coherent farming policy. But food production must be at its heart, the NPA has stressed in a briefing for MPs.
Today marks the Second Reading of the Bill in the House of Commons, with much of the debate over what is expected to be at least six hours so far focusing on the familiar issues of the emphasis placed on food production and the standards attached to imports in post-Brexit trade deals.
The NPA produced a briefing for the EFRA Committee's inquiry into the Bill and wider distribution among MPs.
On the subject of food production and agriculture, the briefing states: "This is a once in a lifetime chance to ensure that we have a developed and cohesive policy that protects and enhances environmental standards, public goods and food production. As a result of this, the Bill needs to be more explicit in outlining the role of agricultural activity, with farm businesses at its heart. The UK is currently only 56% self-sufficient in pork; if the above measures are met, we can ensure that this ratio is improved, to potentially comparable levels of self sufficiency
of the 1990s."
"It is crucial however that Government does not lose sight of the importance of food production and the vital role that farming businesses must play in ensuring that the public have continued access to efficiently produced, fully traceable, high quality, safe British food."
The briefing also covers animal health and welfare, protecting our standards, productivity and resilience, public money for public goods and fairness in the supply chain.
Next week the NPA will be meeting Defra to discuss what the pig industry wants to see included in a post-Brexit domestic agricultural policy.
Ahead of that meeting, we are running a member survey to help us get the key messages across. It is a short survey and will only take a few minutes to fill in - we need as many responses as possible!