We need you to support an Agriculture Bill that will create a better food system - let your MP know today!

11 May 2020

The Agriculture Bill will be voted on by MPs on Wednesday 13th May. Do you want to support nature-friendly farming, address climate change and ensure a secure supply of nutritious food for all? We are urging you to take action by writing to your MP now to let him / her know that the new Agriculture Bill needs to support a more resilient, diverse food system. We need more action on nature and climate change, fewer chemicals, more healthy food and a fair deal for farmers and farm workers.

The current Coronavirus crisis has reminded us of the vulnerabilities facing the food and farming sector and how important a resilient food system is for all of us. We need changes to the Bill to make it do a better job and to support our farmers - please show your support by writing to your MP today!

Below is a suggested template to copy and paste - adapted from the Landworkers Alliance (LWA)...

Contact your MP via this link or via the LWA or Sustain.

Dear ......,

As one of your constituents, I support the environmental and social public goods currently outlined in the Agriculture Bill, but I believe that the Bill should do more to protect and support our supply of healthy, home grown food.

It is entirely possible to produce much of the food we need through nature-friendly, agroecological farming. To achieve this, we need to:

  • protect our farmers from being undercut by low standard trade imports
  • support a transition to agroecological farming with R&D, training, and financial incentives

I therefore urge you to vote for Amendment NC2 and Amendments 18 & 19 (on agroecology) to the Agriculture Bill in the House of Commons debate scheduled for Wednesday May 13th.

Amendment NC2 on “International trade agreements: agricultural and food products” only allows imports that have been produced to relevant domestic standards.

Imported food produced to lower standards undercuts prices for UK farmers producing to high standards. As direct payments are reduced, many farm businesses will be economically vulnerable. They need fair prices to survive and produce the high welfare food we need. 

This trade amendment will be essential to implementation of the promised Food Strategy which should set clear targets for reducing the UK's reliance on imports whilst delivering environmental and social public goods.

Agroecology Amendments 18 & 19 bring together food production and the environment.

An agroecology amendment would require the emerging support schemes to incentivise farming techniques that deliver environmental benefits across productive farms. Agroecological farming is regenerative of biodiversity, soils, and the environment. It can produce comparable yields at lower cost, with greater profitability for farmers while providing us with healthy, UK grown food. 

The UN FAO provides the following definition of agroecology:

‘Agroecology is based on applying ecological concepts and principles to optimize interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment while taking into consideration the social aspects that need to be addressed for a sustainable and fair food system. By building synergies, agroecology can support food production and food security and nutrition while restoring the ecosystem services and biodiversity that are essential for sustainable agriculture. Agroecology can play an important role in building resilience and adapting to climate change.’

I also urge you to support the following amendment tabled by Sir Edward Leigh:

Clause 17, page 14, line 32, at end insert - “(3) As part of the report, the Secretary of State must set out food security targets and specify and implement any actions required to ensure that those targets are met.”

Agroecology is necessary to ensure we are responsible for our own food security at the same time as looking after the environment. A win-win for everyone! The Government’s response to date is that you could support agroecology under the current powers.

Please vote for Amendment NC2, Amendments 18 & 19 (on agroecology) and Clause 17.

Your support will build a stronger UK farming sector for future generations!

Thank you.

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The information contained above reflects the views of the author/s and does not necessarily reflect that of Agricology and its partners.