Agriculture Bill response – pawns in a game of ‘trade deal’ chess?

Our Executive Director, Dan Crossley, commenting on the Agriculture Bill’s third reading in the House of Commons on 13th April 2020:

“Today was a golden opportunity missed by MPs to improve the Agriculture Bill. We’re disappointed key amendments got voted down. It’s not enough for government ministers to say ‘trust us, we want to keep high standards’. If the government really cares about food and farming – and it should – it must not let the sector become a sacrificial lamb.

Workers’ rights, animal welfare standards, environmental protection and food safety must not be allowed to become pawns in a game of ‘trade deal chess’. Food and farming done well can deliver huge benefits to society, the environment and animals. Let’s move beyond platitudes and applause of food and farming key workers to truly valuing their contribution.”

At this time, we want to highlight one of the promises the Conservative Party made in its 2019 general election manifesto, namely:

“In all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards.”

Source: Conservative party general election manifesto, 2019.

Our Food Promises report sets out not only shifts in emphasis of several political parties on food and farming in the last few years, but highlights key commitments made by the Conservative party. We and others will continue to hold the government to account on these – including its commitment to high standards – and at the same time are ready to support the government to deliver on the promises it has made that support fair, sustainable food and farming.