Bristol Green Party Logo

Tuesday, 21st Feb 2017

Bristol's Green MEP launches report with radical ideas for agriculture post-Brexit

* Direct payments based on land area to be scrapped with payments retargeted towards rewarding farmers for providing public benefits

* Farmers to receive payments for safeguarding and improving the environment

* Focus on meeting UK demands for food instead of putting export markets first

* Introduce VAT on meat products

* Ban the routine preventative use of antibiotics

Bristol's MEP, Molly Scott Cato, who is also a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee, has today launched two reports on ideas for the future of farming post-Brexit.

The reports are launched as it becomes clear the government lacks a vision for the future of agriculture [1]. One report is by the Soil Association, the well-known food and farming charity; the other by Simon Fairlie of the Land Workers’ Alliance.

Both reports foresee a future where policies put soil health and biodiversity first, and where the way we use land helps tackle climate change. They agree that to achieve this, farmers will need to receive at least as much money as they currently get through the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). However, they say direct payments based on land area should be scrapped and retargeted at paying farmers for the public benefits they provide. They also call for additional funding for advice, training, and farmer-led research and innovation.

Other more radical ideas from Simon Fairlie include a shift away from export markets so UK farmers can focus on meeting UK demands for food; 20% VAT on processed meat products, and ‘polluter pays’ labelling on food products which involve the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and GM materials. Meanwhile the Soil Association calls for a new national agroforestry strategy, a ban on the routine preventative use of antibiotics, and using procurement to drive demand for locally produced, especially organic, food.

Molly said:

“We have a government that is not only clueless on how to improve the lot of our farmers and food producers, but is also chasing damaging trade deals with the US and Canada which would weaken the higher EU standards that have shaped UK agriculture over the last 40 years.

“The absence of any plan for our food and farming sectors is even more alarming given the extreme form of Brexit that Theresa May’s government is pushing for. Around 65% of total UK agricultural exports go to the EU, while around 70% of the UK’s imports originate from other EU countries. Removing us from the single market risks punitive tariffs on exports and imports, while an end to free movement would make it impossible to take on the seasonal migrant labour from EU countries so crucial to many farms.

“Yet Brexit could be a unique opportunity to move towards an ecologically sustainable farming system; one that focuses on supporting family farms and relocalising food production, thereby creating thriving rural communities. We can also refocus land management to encourage biodiversity, improve animal welfare and help tackle climate change.  

“These two reports do something that the government seem incapable of doing – providing a wealth of exciting and innovative ideas for policy makers, farmers, food producers and rural communities. But ultimately what happens to farming will affect us all as it will shape the future of our economic, social, environmental and physical landscapes”.

Dr Tom MacMillan, Director of Innovation at the Soil Association, said:

“We’re hearing a fair bit of consensus from farming, nature and public interest groups on the big principles for agricultural policy after we leave the CAP – that the public expect high standards on animal welfare, for example, and that public money should pay for public benefits. What’s missing are practical and inspiring ideas that seize the chance to make a better fist of it, and face up to monumental challenges like climate change. So we’ve tried to set out a few game-changing ideas in our report”.

Further information about the two reports.

[1] Response to Parliamentary Question 63096 asked by Caroline Lucas MP:

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (63096):

Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what research the Government has commissioned in the last six months to inform the development of agricultural and environmental policy once the UK leaves the EU. (63096)

Tabled on: 06 February 2017

Answer from George Eustice:

Defra invests a significant amount in agricultural and environmental research to underpin policy development and implementation. Much of this is relevant to the development of future policy in the context of EU exit.

However, research specifically to inform agricultural and environmental policy once the UK leaves the EU, which is distinct from the department’s on-going research programmes, has not been commissioned in the last 6 months.

The answer was submitted on 09 Feb 2017 at 17:54.


Green Party chooses Climate Emergency campaigner Carla Denyer to win Bristol West parliamentary seat

Green Party chooses Climate Emergency campaigner Carla Denyer to win Bristol West parliamentary seat

Former wind turbine engineer and current city councillor, Carla Denyer, has been picked to contest the winnable seat of Bristol West for the Green Party at the coming General Election.

Labour Mayor refuses to back Climate Strike

Labour Mayor refuses to back Climate Strike

Bristol’s Labour Mayor has refused to support Council workers taking part in what could be the world’s biggest ever Climate Strike on 20th September, after a Green Councillor asked him to do so at a Council meeting.

Labour vote down Green policies in Green New Deal

Labour vote down Green policies in ‘Green New Deal’

Green Councillors accused the Mayor of substituting empty words for climate action this evening (10 Sep. 19), at a Full Council meeting where Labour proposed a ‘Green New Deal’ motion but rejected a Green amendment to add practical policy commitments to it.

Environmental Lawyers put Bristol Council On Notice over climate inaction

Environmental Lawyers put Bristol Council ‘On Notice’ over climate inaction

Lawyers from leading environmental law charity ClientEarth have put Bristol City Council “on notice” over its lack of proper climate change plans, giving them eight weeks to explain how planning policy will incorporate carbon reduction targets.

Green Climate Emergency councillor calls on Mayor to support Climate Strikers

Green ‘Climate Emergency’ councillor calls on Mayor to support Climate Strikers

At a council meeting this evening Carla Denyer, the Green Party Councillor who initiated Bristol's declaration of a Climate Emergency, will ask Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees if he will support Council workers taking time off to join the Global Climate Strike of September 20.

Job Advert Campaign Manager wanted

Job Advert: Campaign Manager wanted

Could you work for Bristol Green Party? We're currently recruiting for a paid Campaign Manager to work on the Green Party Mayoral 2020 Campaign.

Government steps up legal threat to Bristol Mayor over air quality failures

Government steps up legal threat to Bristol Mayor over air quality failures

Greens respond to a letter sent to Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees from the Government’s Minister for Air Quality, which has highlighted once again that Bristol’s current action on air quality is too slow, engagement inadequate, and that options being consulted on currently may not meet minimum standards.

Former Green Lord Mayor joins reparations protest outside Downing Street

Former Green Lord Mayor joins reparations protest outside Downing Street

Green Councillor Cleo Lake joined the 'Stop the Maangamizi' protest march in London on 1st August and protested outside Number 10 Downing Street, demanding the UK government compensate the people and nations affected by the Trans Atlantic slave trade.

Nine years for breathable air not good enough  tell the Mayor we need stronger proposals

Nine years for breathable air 'not good enough’ - tell the Mayor we need stronger proposals

Green Councillors have called on Bristolians to respond ‘none of the above’ to the council’s clean air consultation, and demanded the Mayor consider new ideas to improve air quality as fast as possible, as well as longer term changes to reduce private car use.

Greens call for action to follow words as WECA declares Climate Emergency

Greens call for action to follow words as WECA declares Climate Emergency

Following lobbying by Green councillors the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) has finally passed a motion declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’

Labour and Conservatives vote against action on fossil fuel divestment

Labour and Conservatives vote against action on fossil fuel divestment

Green councillors in Bristol last night charged Labour and Conservatives with ignoring the Climate Emergency, as they voted together to amend a Green Party motion calling for fossil fuel divestment, rendering it ineffective.

We cant afford to wait any longer  Greens respond to Councils Climate Emergency report

“We can’t afford to wait any longer” – Greens respond to Council’s Climate Emergency report

With Extinction Rebellion actions hitting headlines in cities across the UK, Green Party councillors in Bristol last night called on the Labour Mayor and council to show greater urgency in tackling climate change.

Greens say Mayors climate plan lacks ideas and emergency

Greens say Mayor’s climate plan lacks ideas and emergency

Bristol Green Party has welcomed the Mayor’s new plan to address the Climate Emergency, but says that the plan lacks substance or the urgent action needed to address this pressing issue.

Bristol Councillor who kicked off UK Climate Emergency to represent city at climate event

Bristol Councillor who kicked off UK Climate Emergency to represent city at climate event

Carla Denyer, the Green Councillor from Bristol who proposed the first Climate Emergency motion in the UK in November 2018, will be taking part in a ‘high level roundtable’ as part of London’s Climate Action Week.

Heads LG win tails the Council loses  Greens on Mayors Temple Island plans

“Heads L&G win, tails the Council loses” - Greens on Mayor's Temple Island plans

Green Councillors have condemned proposals from the Mayor to hand key public land on Bristol’s Temple Island site to financial services company Legal & General, through an agreement which avoids the usual legal process.

Mayoral candidate challenges expensive giveaway of arena site

Mayoral candidate challenges “expensive giveaway” of arena site

The Green mayoral candidate for Bristol, Sandy Hore-Ruthven, is challenging the Mayor over proposals to pay a major financial services firm up to £120 million to develop the former arena site at Temple Island, without guaranteeing social return for the city.

Green Councillor brands Council Air Quality plans shameful

Green Councillor brands Council Air Quality plans "shameful"

At at cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Green Councillors challenged the Labour Mayor's lack of detail and evidence to support new air quality proposals.

Action on Climate Emergency ACE

Action on Climate Emergency (ACE)

Bristol Green Party’s Action on Climate Emergency group, campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of climate change.

Green Councillors press for WECA to take action on Climate Emergency

Green Councillors press for WECA to take action on Climate Emergency

After launching a Climate Emergency at Bristol Council last November, the first of its kind in the UK, Green Councillors are today calling on the region’s West of England Combined Authority (WECA) to recognise a climate emergency.

Make local plan fit for a changing climate say Greens

Make local plan fit for a changing climate say Greens

More than 6 months after Bristol Council passed a Green Party motion to declare a climate emergency, Green Councillors are now calling on the Council to recognise this in its plans for the future.

Greens top Bristol election results showing Green city swing

Greens top Bristol election results showing Green city swing

Last night the Green Party topped European election polls in Bristol, contributing significantly to the re-election of Green MEP Molly Scott-Cato in the South West. Members say the result indicates a Green swing in the city ahead of the local and mayoral elections next year.

Bristol Councillors give thanks to Green Lord Mayor at final meeting

Bristol Councillors give thanks to Green Lord Mayor at final meeting

Councillors celebrated the hard work and positivity of Green Lord Mayor Cleo Lake during the ceremony that saw her step down at the end of her year in office.

Greens back Youth Climate Strike against airport expansion

Greens back Youth Climate Strike against airport expansion

Caroline Lucas spoke in support of another Youth Climate Strike taking place in Bristol this Friday 24 May, this time protesting the expansion of Bristol Airport.

Bristol Greens call for ban on dangerous pavement parking

Bristol Greens call for ban on dangerous pavement parking

Green Councillors in Bristol have contributed to a House of Commons Inquiry into pavement parking, highlighting the dangers and accessibility problems it causes and calling for a ban to be legally enforced.

Green Councillor shows flaws in plans for polluting gas plant in heart of Bristol

Green Councillor shows flaws in plans for polluting gas plant in heart of Bristol

A Green Party Councillor has hit out at plans to build a gas generator plant in Bristol, raising concerns about high levels of air pollution on a site close to a nursery.

European Election Campaign  Hustings

European Election Campaign & Hustings

The European Election campaign is underway. Learn more about our candidates and where to see them in hustings around the region.

Bristol Green Group response to Climate Change report

Bristol Green Group response to Climate Change report

“Both Conservatives and Labour are now talking the talk on climate change, but they need to follow it up in their actions. This is an emergency and it’s not enough to talk about the climate – we have to do something about it."

Council risking deaths and crime with proposed cuts to drugs programme

Council risking deaths and crime with proposed cuts to drugs programme

A Green Councillor has raised concerns about Council proposals to cut prescription services for vulnerable drug users in Bristol

Making Steps Towards Carbon Neutrality

Making Steps Towards Carbon Neutrality

Green councillors have welcomed the first steps at Bristol Council towards work for Bristol to go carbon neutral by 2030.

South West Greens launch reelect Molly European election campaign

South West Greens launch ‘re-elect Molly’ European election campaign

The Green Party in the South West today launched their European election campaign. The Party will push for the re-election of Molly Scott Cato, who has a strong track record of achievement in the European parliament and is a leading and well-respected voice of opposition to Brexit both within the South West region and nationally.

We use cookies on our website to improve your experience, by using our website you accept the use of these cookies. Read More Close