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.

If you’re on board – please act today by writing to Michael Gove to let him know your views. Individual responses mean a lot more than lots of automatated identical emails, we’re asking you to take 10 minutes to send an email to Defra, with a message in your own words.

I know this might seem like a big ask – we wouldn’t ask if we didn’t think it was worth it. Below are some ideas to help you write your response.

Tell Michael Gove you want a national food target to halve food waste by 2030.

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.

Tell Michael Gove you want a national food target to halve food waste by 2030.

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.

Tell Michael Gove you want to return to the common sense approach of feeding food waste to pigs.

We can create a food system that works with nature, this is a massive opportunity to shape the future of the English food system, please have your say.

What can you do next?