FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Landworkers’ Alliance, a union representing more than 1000 small and medium scale farmers and landworkers, are calling for urgent amendments to the Agriculture Bill, due to be debated in Parliament on Wednesday 13th May.The union have launched a campaign calling on MPs to support two amendments. The first, Amendment NC2, would only allow imports that have been produced to relevant domestic standards, preventing imported food produced to lower standards from undercutting prices for UK farmers. The second, Amendments 18 and 19, bring together food production and the environment, requiring the emerging support schemes to incentivise farming techniques that deliver environmental benefits across productive farms.
These amendments are vital to ensuring high welfare food and fair pay for farmers and securing a commitment to an environmentally-friendly UK food supply.
Since launching the campaign on Friday, the union have seen more than 2200 people email their MP asking for them to support the amendments.
Jyoti Fernandes, Campaigns and Policy Coordinator for the Landworkers’ Alliance said;
“Coronavirus has exposed our need to a build resilient domestic food supply. We need more farmers and we need an ambitious transition to nature friendly farming systems that reverse the climate and nature crisis. The Agriculture Bill is a historic moment or make or break our food system. If we do not protect our farms from being undercut by cheap imports and make a firm commitment to supporting our farmers through this transition, we can wave goodbye to a humane and ecological domestic food supply for future generations.”
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, chef and campaigner said.
“On Wednesday the Agriculture Bill comes to Parliament and it’s one of the most important pieces of legislation for years; it’s going to shape the way we grow our food and take care of our land for decades to come. If you’re an MP voting on Wednesday, please give your utmost consideration to the agroecology amendments – these will ensure the Government invests properly in local food systems that will help create 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.”