MPs are being urged to vote for amendments to support a transition to agro ecological farming in a fast-tracked hearing for the long-awaited and landmark Agriculture Bill.
Due to take place tomorrow (May 13), the Bill has been chosen by the government to trial a new online voting system where MPs will vote for a series of proposed amendments.
Two of those amendments directly support sustainable food and farming, and a campaign backed by food campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and sponsored by The Landworkers Alliance is urging people to write to their MPs to voice their support.
Amendment NC2 is around international trade agreements, and requests that agricultural and food imports should meet UK quality and welfare standards. It is designed to protect the high standards of British farmers and growers, particularly relevant for sustainable farming systems.
Amendments 18 and 19 would require the emerging new farming subsidy schemes to incentivise environmental benefits. The government has said the new scheme covers this under the proposed structure of ‘public money for public goods’, but the campaign requests a more specific mention for agroecology.
“The Agriculture Bill is one of the most important piece of legislation for years,” said food broadcaster and campaigner, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. “It’s going to shape the way we grow our food and take care of our land for decades to come.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity to create a sustainable, resilient and biodiverse future for UK agriculture. If you’re an MP voting on Wednesday, please give your utmost consideration to the agroecological amendments. These will ensure that the government invests properly in local food systems, provide thousands of good jobs in the rural economy, and avoid trade standards that would drastically lower the welfare and environmental standards in our food.
“This is such an important moment, and a vital chance to look after our soil and our society.”
To write to your MP and add your voice to the sustainable and agro ecological farming movement, click here.