Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 13°C

min temp: 8°C


Suffolk MP slams lack of focus on food production in Agriculture Bill

PUBLISHED: 14:13 09 November 2018

NFU Suffolk branch members at their AGM Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS

NFU Suffolk branch members at their AGM Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS

Sarah Chambers

The government’s agriculture bill came under fire for failing to focus enough on healthy food production as Suffolk farmers met this week.

Ipswich MP Sandy Martin speaks at the NFU Suffolk branch AGM Picture: SARAH CHAMBERSIpswich MP Sandy Martin speaks at the NFU Suffolk branch AGM Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS

Ipswich Labour MP Sandy Martin, who was one of the guest speakers at the annual meeting of the Suffolk branch of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) on Wednesday (November 7), said a lot of the criticisms of environment secretary Michael Gove’s ‘health and harmony’ report were “well made”.

“It laid down the principle of payment for public goods, which I would support, and I think my party would support, but it didn’t mention food,” he said.

The bill has already come under fire from the NFU because of the focus on environment over food production.

Mr Martin sits on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee currently scrutinising the Agriculture Bill, as well as recently being appointed Labour’s shadow minister for waste and recycling, and admitted he was on a “steep learning curve”, getting to grips with his agricultural brief. He and the rest of the committee were currently going through the bill ‘line by line’.

Members at the NFU Suffolk branch AGM Picture: SARAH CHAMBERSMembers at the NFU Suffolk branch AGM Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS

While it did receive representation from various parties, “the ones we take most seriously are the ones from the NFU”, he said.

“We need to have an agriculture bill because we need a system to govern the way payments are made to agriculture once we stop being part of the EU,” he said.

While supporting environmental measures, but felt these were “completely pointless if we are not actually producing food”. “We accept the importance of payment for public goods, but we believe that should include food,” he said.

There were lots of foods the UK ought to be growing more of, he argued, as he revealed a partiality for broad beans - often difficult to find in grocery stores.

NFU Suffolk branch AGM Picture: SARAH CHAMBERSNFU Suffolk branch AGM Picture: SARAH CHAMBERS

“There are lots of other healthy foods that the climate and soils in this country are absolutely ideal for,” he added.

The current system, under the current European Union Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), effectively paid farmers for being farmers and had environment schemes that were too bureaucratic, he said, agreeing that something should be done. “This does prevent over-production, but it doesn’t necessarily reward good practice,” he said.

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Unemployment in the East of England has dropped slightly, falling by 1,000 to stand at 100,000 in the last quarter.

Staff at Tendring District Council-run leisure centres are getting ready to go the extra mile in aid of Children in Need – some literally.

Suffolk-based digital voucher provider Pressi has launched a new scheme to provide companies with a flexible reward and incentive scheme, Pressi Corporate Choice.

Independent builder Stephen Lee from S R Lee Ltd, Brundish has been crowned the East Regional Winner in the Small Builder category in the third round of NHBC Pride in the Job Awards 2018 for his new build homes in Stradbroke, Eye.

Restoring a village pub that was once John Peel’s favourite watering hole has been a labour of love for two families in Rattlesden, who couldn’t bear to see their local pub falling into a state of disrepair.

Management Jobs

Show Job Lists

Most read

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24