The future of English farming is in our hands

27th Apr 18 by Christina O'Sullivan

We need to talk about productivity in terms of wasting less – not producing more.

Now is a critical time for the future of faming in England. Defra has  released a consultation on farm policy for when we leave the EU. Michael Gove has said that Defra need as much input as possible from people who care about our food system, to help the government weigh up the alternatives facing it.

Feedback will be responding to the consultation – and we’d love it if you joined us. The deadline is May 8 – we need to act fast.

Here’s what you need to do

The Government is weighing up several options in terms of how to spend public money after the Common Agricultural Policy (the EU rules on agricultural subsidies). We think it’s really important that they prioritise protecting our environment and building a greener agricultural system. 


There are lots of ways to do this, but Feedback is calling for the Government to adopt two priorities:

  1. Wasting the food we grow is exhausting our soils and creating needless pollution. The Government should create a national, binding target to halve food waste from farm to fork by 2030.
  2. Feeding our surplus food that isn’t fit for people to pigs, instead of importing vast quantities of feed from overseas, is just good sense. We want the Government to lift the ban on feeding food waste to pigs.

A national target to halve food waste from farm to fork by 2030

The government thinks we need to increase agricultural productivity. But in a world where one third of all food produced is wasted we need to talk about productivity in terms of wasting less – not producing more.

We challenge the government to commit to a binding national commitment to halve food waste from farm to fork by 2030. To do this they’ll need to ensure that food waste is measured across the supply chain – that includes on farms.

Feeding safe and treated food waste to pigs

If food is good to eat, then it should be eaten by people. But what about food that still has nutritional value, but isn’t suitable for people any more? Our Pig Idea campaign encourages the feeding of food waste which isn’t edible to humans but is perfectly nutritious and delicious to pigs. Throughout history, we have fed pigs on food waste, it was actively encouraged during the war. We think now is a key opportunity to lead the way in creating a sustainable livestock system that allows English pig farmers to thrive. The government should review the measures that would be needed to feed treated food waste to pigs in a safe way, and bring in reforms to allow safe, heat-treated food waste to be fed to pigs – to end our reliance on expensive and environmentally destruction soy feeds from South America and make use of currently wasted food.

We can create a food system that works with nature. Keep in touch by signing up to our newsletter for more ways you can get involved.

What can you do next?