'Radical action' on food system needed by 2030
Radical steps must be taken to create a sustainable and healthy UK food and farming system by 2030.
That is the message from the RSA Food, Farming & Countryside Commission (FFCC) – a two-year independent inquiry into how policy, business and community currently shape our food and farming systems, and what changes are needed in future.
The final report from the FFCC sets out a blueprint for the UK’s food, farming and countryside system as the UK is set to leave the EU and its Common Agricultural Policy.
It warns that failure to completely transition to a sustainable and healthy food system by 2030 will lead to further climate breakdown and “rocketing” diet-related ill-health.
“Our planned exit from the EU creates a once-in-fifty-years opportunity to change our food and farming system, but we need to act now – whatever happens next, the climate emergency makes urgent, radical action on the environment essential,” said FFCC chairman Sir Ian Cheshire.
“The UK has the capability to become the world leader in healthy, sustainable food production and we set out how in just 10 years, we could make radical change and harness farming as a force for wider economic, public health and environmental good.”
Recommendations in the report include a transition to “sustainable agro-ecological farming” by 2030. Agro-ecological practices include organic farming, integrated pest management, pasture-fed livestock, conservation and regenerative agriculture, and agroforestry.
Other recommendations include a call for government to commit to the transition plan by January next year; more commitment from public bodies to buy more sustainably produced British and local produce and for the creation of a National Agro-ecology Development Bank to bring together long-term investors to fund farmers to transition.