Farmwel's blueprint for agricultural land use and food production in the UK
FCRN member ffinlo Costain has alerted us to this report produced by Farmwel. Farmwel is an NGO working to generate momentum towards sustainable and accountable mainstream agriculture, focussing on the environment, people's livelihoods, and farm animal welfare. This blueprint report was produced with the additional support of the Conservative Environment Network, and the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation.
The report describes a process of de-centralisation that it argues could lead to greater public trust, and accountability on the ground. The report describes Farmwel’s vision for British agriculture, including a national policy framework, a funding model to address the structural deficit in our natural capital, de-centralised management and public accountability for farm contracts, and proposals to address food waste.
It sets out a political vision to deliver:
- A leadership model for the twenty first century.
- A food industry built on quality, profit, and opportunity.
- Freedom to innovate.
- Accountability for public funds.
- A national policy framework supporting decentralised delivery.
- A robust and biodiverse landscape that secures Britain's inheritance for generations to come.
Their vision is based on the needs of the market, the expectations of British people, and the demands of the natural environment. They seek a new long-term settlement for UK food production, which establishes the necessary foundations for a strong trading relationship with the world, insures our farmers against the risk of natural degradation, and provides the rural economy with the long-term independence it needs to adapt and thrive.
You can read the report here.
You might also be interested in a recent blog-post about the future of UK farming policy after Brexit, published in The Conversation: The EU’s farming policy is hated – but what comes next may be worse. Note also that the Food Research Collaboration has written extensively on Brexit implications for food and farming – see a list of their resources here.
Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.