The Policy Commission on the Future of Food and Farming must call for radical solutions to tackle the food and farming crisis Friends of the Earth said today. FOE also urged the Commission to step outside the narrow remit imposed on them by the Cabinet Office which prevents them from addressing the key policy areas of trade and the Common Agricultural Policy [1]. Today is the deadline submissions to the commission.

Friends of the Earth says that policies should be introduced that tackle problems all along the food chain in an integrated way [2]. Recommendations submitted by FOE today include the following:
  • current powers should be used to divert production subsidies on larger farmers to fund agri-environment schemes on smaller and medium sized farms;
  • the UK should initiate a new international agreement on food and agriculture to promote and protect human rights to safe, healthy and nutritious food; high rural employment and labour standards; and a healthy and sustainable environment;
  • a legally enforceable Code of Conduct for major supermarkets dealing with suppliers;
  • the CAP should be scrapped by 2006 and replaced with a rural Sustainable Development Policy. This would reward landowners for good stewardship of the land, high animal welfare standards, biodiversity, and natural resources and support diverse local food production and distribution.

Liana Stupples, Campaigns Director at Friends of the Earth said:

"If we are serious about tackling the UK's food and farming crisis the Policy Commission must address two of the major causes - the unsustainable CAP and free-trade in farm products. It's clear that the current system doesn't benefit farmers, consumers or the environment. Unless the Policy Commission is bold in its final report little will change".

Notes

  1. The Cabinet Office terms of reference for the policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food require that its recommendations must be "consistent with the Government 's aims for CAP reform, enlargement of the EU and increased trade liberalisation".
  2. Copies of Friends of the Earth's submission are available from the press office.
  3. Friends of the Earth is calling for a dramatic change to current damaging methods of agriculture.A new FOE publication, out in November, Get real about food and farming, spells out how a sustainable future for farming that will provide quality, affordable food that consumers can trust.