Agriculture Bill

The Agriculture Bill will see new land management schemes to be introduced in England upon the principle of public money for public goods. Following this principle will allow land managers and farmers who protect our environment, improve animal welfare and produce high quality food in a sustainable way to be rewarded. The Bill will keep farming competitive, with measures to increase productivity and to invest in new technology. Furthermore, transparency in the supply chain will be improved to help food producers strengthen their position at the farm gate and seek a fairer return from the marketplace.

British consumers want high welfare produce and this country expects that our trading partners should meet those standards if they wish to break into the UK market. The Conservative Party manifesto, which I stood on, was unambiguous in stating that our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards would not be compromised in any trade negotiation. I am certain that the Government will stand firm on this commitment.

It is very positive that all food coming into this country will be required to meet existing import requirements and at the end of the transition period the Withdrawal Act will convert all EU standards into domestic law. This notably includes a ban on using artificial growth hormones in domestic and imported products and only potable water may be used to clean chicken carcasses. Any alterations to these standards would be required to come before Parliament for scrutiny.

Regarding labelling, the Government has committed to an in depth and rapid examination of what could be done through labelling in the UK market to promote high standards and welfare goods. However, any scheme could not be put together until we have completed the transition period and would be required to meet our obligations under the World Trade Organisation.

EXPIRES ON 20.11.20