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Neglecting to sustain agricultural practices endangers the UK's food security and net zero objective


The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has advocated for a robust industrial strategy and additional agricultural funding to ensure the UK's food security and reach net zero targets.

By not offering assistance to farmers in dealing with their environmental difficulties, the government runs the risk of undermining both the UK's food security and its objectives to achieve net zero.


The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) think tank today released a report that has arrived at a dire conclusion: trade agreements put into place since Brexit are having a negative effect on British farmers and are in opposition to climate objectives.


The study issued a warning that the UK's inefficient food system is heavily weighted towards processed foods, which are negative for the environment and have made it difficult for those on lower incomes to afford a nutritious diet.


The report suggests that the farming industry has sustained considerable economic losses due to the abnormally high temperatures, leading to extensive crop damage and creating many problems.

Research indicates that livestock is often confronted by higher temperatures, seasons are becoming more changeable, pests and diseases are rising due to milder winters, drought is leading to decreased crop production, and flooding is causing soil runoff, erosion, and harvesting difficulties.

Lesley Rankin, a researcher at IPPR and a contributor to the report, cautioned that the government must act swiftly to address these intertwined issues, as they have consistently neglected to treat the risks posed to farming and food security with the urgency needed.

According to her, the UK's domestic food production is in jeopardy due to the climate and nature crisis. For the goal of food security and a better environment for future generations, it is essential that action be taken now and that farmers and communities be included in the process.


Undoubtedly, shielding our environment, enhancing farmers' profits and ensuring food safety are interconnected. It is now up to the government to take the necessary steps to put us on a route that provides a more fulfilling life for everyone.


The administration is taking far-reaching measures to provide subsidies for farming to support the implementation of more sustainable and dependable agricultural approaches and land utilization.


A report issued today states that a far more comprehensive policy framework is necessary, featuring a thorough industrial farming strategy to ensure food is secure, complies with net zero objectives, and assists farmers in creating a "significant transformation" to more sustainable farming techniques.


The government is being urged to deliver £2.4bn annually for the coming decade through agricultural aid programmes to assist English farmers in increasing carbon sequestration and benefitting wildlife. Furthermore, it is emphasised that the terms of any foreign trade deals should ensure that food imports comply with the same regulations regarding the environment, animal welfare, food safety, and working standards as domestic products.


The report suggests forming food connections in nearby communities to help increase the demand for nutritious, natural, and environmentally friendly food.


According to Luke Murphy, co-writer of the report and the main figure in the fair transition unit at IPPR, the absence of a comprehensive sustainable agriculture policy up until now has had "grave consequences" for Britain's food and farming industries.


He emphasized that the government should provide extended financial assistance for the switchover to a new system and must strengthen its trade policy to ensure that environmental and worker standards are upheld. Additionally, they must guarantee that British farmers are not disadvantaged by food produced with inferior standards from abroad.


When asked to comment, a government representative reaffirmed that they are dedicated to aiding farmers to foster economic growth, secure food resources, and maintain the environment.


The government announced their commitment to sustaining the £2.4bn annual farming budget, with additional investment in productivity and innovation on farms, to veer away from European Union policies and instead foster British farmers to produce food sustainably.


Evidently, we are not willing to sacrifice the UK's high food safety and animal welfare regulations in trade deals to safeguard British farmers and their domestic food production.


At the start of the month, the government revealed that it had put aside an additional £5m in grant money for farmers to use on projects for growing sustainable food, achieving carbon neutrality, boosting farm endurance, and aiding nature recuperation.

The Farming Innovation Investor Partnership Competition, with financial backing from Defra in collaboration with UK Research & Innovation and Innovate UK, will commence this month. This competition is an addition to the previously announced £270 million Farming Innovation Programme, in which the government asserted that over £100 million had been assigned to support early-stage research and development activities.


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