Westminster Food & Nutrition Forum - Food security - UK priorities, supporting domestic production and driving innovation


Relevant developments:

  • Brexit Transition negations as the end-of-year deadline approaches
  • the EFRA Committee on COVID-19 and food supply report:
    • with recommendations - on consulting on legislation for a Right to Food after the Food Strategy’s publication, and appointing a Minister for Food Security
    • the Government response - on support for suppliers, vulnerable groups’ access to food, reducing food waste, working with charities and local government, and monitoring food insecurity
  • legislation - the Agriculture Bill and the Environment Bill continuing their passage through Parliament
  • £1m to support transition to future farming system - Defra’s consultation on the future Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme and the Future Farming Resilience Funding scheme
  • £25m available to help farmers boost productivity - the final round of the Countryside Productivity Small Grants scheme
  • the Trade and Agriculture Commission - created to advise government on trade competitiveness that supports animal welfare and environmental standards, consumer interests, and export and other opportunities for the UK food sector
  • Farming for the future Policy and progress update - the Future for food, farming and the environment policy statement outlining further information about England’s agricultural policy
  • A vision for future farming - outlined in a ministerial speech to farmers, focusing on increasing sustainable productivity and rolling out new technology in agriculture
  • UK-wide consultation into dairy sector to tackle supply chain issues launched - looking at fairness in contract conditions and examining the market power of buyers
  • Land use: Policies for a Net Zero UK - the CCC report to Parliament which found that national plans affecting sectors such as agriculture are not taking sufficient account of climate change

Key discussion areas:

  • EU trade negotiations:
    • fishing rights, food and drink tariffs and reducing the risk of food shortages from January
    • market access, supply chain resilience and food standards
    • new trading relationships, the future relationship with the EU, and its impact on food standards, the food and farming workforce, and access to markets for UK businesses
    • regulatory systems - including the OEP, implications of divergence at the end of the EU Exit Transition Period on domestic food production
  • ELM - shaping an Environmental Land Management scheme to support sector productivity and meet environmental targets, as Defra launches a consultation on what any future scheme will look like
  • the obesity and sustainability policy agendas - how the sector is adapting to moves to sustainable diets and net-zero targets, and its impact on food security
  • innovation - new developments in crop science, agri-food and land use and assessing their potential in supporting industry to meet productivity and net zero emissions targets
  • agricultural land use, sustainable diets and the pathway to net zero