Eating Better alliance calls for high-standard Brexit and trade deals
A new report from the Eating Better alliance has urged the Government to pursue Brexit and trade deals that will offer the highest standards for British meat and benefit the environment, public health and farm animals.
The paper, named ‘Beyond the CAP: policies to support better UK meat & dairy production post-Brexit’, has made ten key recommendations for food and farming that campaigning organisations believe are fit for the future and will prevent deals of a “bargain-bin Britain”.
Outlining that the status quo is “not an option”, the Eating Better alliance is calling for a new strategy with policies and mechanisms to support the transition towards a “fairer, greener and healthier food system”.
The recommendations include replacing CAP (common agricultural policy) with an integrated food and farming strategy, along with a transition to healthy sustainable eating patterns.
In addition, it calls for high standards and enforcement for environmental protection, food safety, antibiotic use in livestock farming and farm animal welfare, as well as public money for the provision of public goods, such as wildlife, farm animal welfare, environmental and landscape benefits.
The report also recommends maintaining sustainable levels of livestock production in line with the carrying capacity of land, climate change goals and environmental limits, high welfare and the principles of sustainable diets and public expectations for high quality.
What’s more, it calls for protection for high quality permanent grassland and carbon-rich soils that avoid overgrazing, along with sustainably sourced animal feed to reduce the UK’s impact on climate change and biodiversity in other countries.
Finally, the paper recommends clear and honest labelling, economic support for sustainable livestock production systems and sufficient transition funding for innovation, research and training to support the practical and cultural shift needed.
The report was produced with organisations including Friends of the Earth, WWF-UK, Compassion in World Farming, Sustain, and The European Public Health Alliance.
Clare Oxborrow, of Friends of the Earth and chair of the Eating Better alliance, said: “British livestock farmers cannot compete with other countries in a race to the bottom, and they shouldn’t try.
“Brexit provides the opportunity to create, and promote, a high-standard Britain, one synonymous with globally leading production standards for animal welfare and the environment.”