Brexit Government urged to take control of food, farming and fisheries for public good
Feedback have signed a letter alongside 83 other organisations to David Davis and Theresa May to stress the important implications of Brexit on food and farming.
With many of the UK’s food and farming policies and subsidies being defined at EU level, the UK government now has an opportunity to reshape these to ensure that taxpayers money is spent for public good.
Organisations representing the health and long-term interests of millions of British citizens have called on government to adopt common-sense food, farming and fishing policies that are good for jobs, health and the environment, when they plan for the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Concerns are expressed in a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May and David Davis MP, the Minister appointed to oversee a new Unit advising the Government and PM on the post EU Referendum strategy. The letter, co-signed by over 80 food, farming, fair trade, poverty, animal welfare, wildlife and environmental organisations, argues that good food, farming and fishing policies must be central to any post EU Referendum strategy for the UK.
The organisations point out that better food, farming and trade policies can help to cut greenhouse gas emissions from farming and food industries by 80% by 2050, and promote healthier diets to combat heart disease, cancers, diabetes and obesity, saving the NHS, and ultimately taxpayers millions. Such policies can also support a vibrant and diverse economy, supporting good jobs and working conditions, in the UK and overseas. Further, the UK could prioritise ethical and sustainable production methods, improved animal welfare, more farmland and marine wildlife, a healthy future for bees and other pollinators, as well as enhancing the beauty of the countryside and protecting the environment, whilst also providing a safe and traceable food supply.
Kath Dalmeny, head of Sustain, an alliance of food and farming organisations, who coordinated the letter, said: “The British public has given no mandate for a reduction in food and farming standards, a weakening of protection for nature, nor a reversal of the UK’s commitment to lifting millions of the poorest people in the world out of poverty through trade. We are seriously concerned that such vital considerations may be over-run by a drive for new trade deals at any cost.”
Organisations that have signed the letter include:
Action on Sugar, Agricultural Christian Fellowship, Alexandra Rose Charity, All Party Parliamentary Group: Agroecology, All Party Parliamentary Group: School Food, Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics, Baby Milk Action, Banana Link, Belfast Food Network, Beyond GM, Biodynamic Association, Blood Pressure UK, Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, Concern Universal, Consensus Action on Salt and Health, Compassion in World Farming, Eating Better Alliance, Econexus, Environmentalists for Europe, Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK), Royal College of Surgeons, Faculty of Public Health, Fairtrade Foundation, Family Farmers’ Association, Federation of City Farms &Community Gardens, Feedback, First Steps Nutrition Trust, Food Ethics Council, Food Foundation, Food Matters, Food Research Collaboration, City University, Food Systems Academy, Forum for the Future, Friends of the Earth , Fun Kitchen, Future Sustainability, Garden Organic, Global Justice Now, GM Freeze, Greenpeace, Green Party of England and Wales, Harper Adams University (Food Science & Agri-Food Supply Chain Management), Health Equalities Group, Institute for Food, Brain and Behaviour, Institute of Health Promotion and Education, International Pole & Line Foundation, Keep Britain Tidy, Landworkers Alliance, London Food Board, Low Impact Fishers of Europe (LIFE), New Under Ten Fishermen’s Association , Magic Breakfast, Marine Conservation Society (MCS), National Obesity Forum, New Economics Foundation, Nourish Scotland, Organic Growers Alliance, Organic Research Centre, Organic Trade Board, Pasture Fed Livestock Association, Pesticides Action Network UK, Real Farming Trust, Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, School of Artisan Food, School Food Matters, Schumacher College at Dartington Hall Trust, Scottish Cancer Prevention Network, Scottish Crofting Federation, Send a Cow, Soil Association, Soil Association Scotland, Sole of Discretion, Slow Food in the UK, Sugarwise, Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming, Sustainable Food Cities Network, Sustainable Food Trust, Traidcraft, UK Food Group, UK Health Forum, Unite the Union, UNISON, University of Cardiff, Geography & Planning & Development, War on Want, Wildlife Trusts.