Monday 12th will see MPs begin to debate the Agriculture Bill for the final time, as they either back or reject important amendments on trade and standards secured in the House of Lords.
The Agriculture Bill is a landmark piece of legislation, designed to set the foundations for our future funding framework for farmers and will provide parliamentarians with one of the most important opportunities in recent times to help the UK transition towards a more resilient, nature-friendly food and farming system.
Despite frequent commitments by Ministers to “protecting our high standards” and a Conservative Party manifesto promise that ‘in all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards’ the Government continues to resist growing calls to enshrine our important food, environmental and animal welfare standards into law.
Because of our values and collective experience, the NFFN believes that the Agriculture Bill and associated funding mechanisms must help farmers to produce safe, healthy food at the same time as helping our soil, landscapes, rivers and wildlife to recover and flourish, providing:
- Public money for public goods secured long-term, not undermined by additional clauses on food production but focused on supporting nature-friendly farming.
- High environmental standards for trade deals, enshrined in law, so that UK farmers are not undercut by low-quality, cheap imports and our carbon footprint is not exported.
- Strong environmental regulations to raise current nature and climate standards on all farms.
- Long-term funding and certainty so farmers are properly rewarded for environmental goods now and into the future.
The NFFN has worked tirelessly throughout the consideration of this Bill to encourage MPs and Peers to back nature-friendly farming. We know that the shift towards a nature-friendly farming approach is not just good for wildlife but is key to the long-term survival of farming, delivering broader benefits to the public, including flood protection, climate change mitigation, improved water and air quality, and access to thriving natural landscapes.
Public money for public goods will support farmers to deliver all these benefits and produce sustainable food into the future but we must have an Agriculture Bill that is fit for purpose.
As such, please join us in urgently contacting your MP and asking them to back the Lords amendments when they debate the Agriculture Bill next week. You can find their details here.
You can use this template letter and/or tweet them using:
Next week the #AgricultureBill returns to the House of Commons for its final stage before becoming law.
(insert MP name) will you vote to enshrine our vital food, environment, and animal welfare trade standards into law?
#NatureFriendlyFarming #SaveOurStandards #AgriBill
As always, adding your own words, a photo or even a video, outlining your personal experience and thoughts, will go a long way to making your voice heard. We look forward to hearing what you have to say!