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The Worshipful Company of Farmers The Worshipful Company of Farmers All of these ideas merit follow-up explanation and discussion but attention is is focussed on on on on on the the recommendations for the the ten-year transition towards agroecological farming farming and the the fourth farming farming revolution
The The ten-year transition would be driven by four elements explained in in Box 7 (p43) of the report The The first is ‘universal baseline payments’ for all all farmers essentially to establish common data and competences on on the natural and and social capital on on farms Second targeted payments to align public and and private investment for public value These would prioritise a a a a a a list of ten mostly environmentally focussed land management practices (from woodland creation and and and agroforestry carbon sequestration in in in peat to to creating and and and restoring habitat corridors) Also in in the list are are public access high animal welfare systems and developing horticultural production and and supply chains In addition payments would be offered for conversion to agroecological 65 systems based on on on on the lessons of organic farming conversion and maintenance payments The third element are fiscal incentives directed towards climate protection This refers to to phasing-out the red diesel subsidy and and and redirecting the the funds thereby raised towards renewable bioenergy woodland creation and and and agroforestry The fourth element of the move towards agroecology is is to to establish a a a a a timetable for more stringent controls on on the the use of pesticides and antibiotics The report “anticipates that the the scientific case for this will continue to to to grow and a a a a a a a a a trajectory should be set towards farming with minimal use of potentially harmful chemicals by by 2030” The potential trade impacts of these ideas is acknowledged by by the the final remark fin in Box 7 that government should commit to ensuring that UK producers will not be undercut by trade deals with countries operating to lower standards 3 5 Dimbleby – – National Food Strategy (NFS) – – Part One An indication of of the the the the intensity of of the the the the debates on on the the the the UK food system is given by the the the the fact that in in in August 2019 the Government judged it sufficiently important and and and urgent to try and and and assemble ideas and and and maybe even some consensus by by by by setting up an an an an an an ‘independent review’ The review review is chaired by by by by Henry Dimbleby66 backed by by by by an an an an an an advisory panel of representatives 5 from from agriculture 11 from from the food industry governmental and non- governmental organisations and 9 academics/experts The review is is is serviced by senior Defra staff It is is is charged “to “to help Government create its first National Food Strategy for 75 years” The remit is “to “to address the environmental and health problems caused by our our food food system to ensure the security of our our food food supply and to maximise the the benefits of the the coming revolution
in in in agricultural technology” It was initially expected that this would be a a a a a one-year exercise with an interim report to gather reactions in in April 2020 The government committed to responding with a a a a a White Paper six months after the review review is is published The review review team are also asked to review progress 12 months after that However (the chaotic developments of the the Brexit process – not stated but this must have been a a a a a a factor and) the the the Covid-19 pandemic intervened in in in this timetable and and changed the the the initial focus of the the the Review team 65 Agroecological agriculture is defined by the the FAO as “an integrated approach that applies ecological ecological and and social principles to the the design and and management of food and and agricultural systems It seeks to optimise the the interactions between plants animals humans and and the the environment and and the the the social aspects that need to be addressed for a a a a a a a a a a a a sustainable and and fair food system ” It applies the the the principles of the the the regenerative economy
to to agriculture A useful review by the the the International Union for the the the Conservation of of Nature (IUCN) of of the the the farming systems which claim to to be sustainable and and based on natural processes is: Oberc and and Arroyo Schnell (2020) see footnote 87
66 The National Food Strategy website summarises: “Henry Dimbleby co-founded the Leon Restaurant chain before going on on on to becoming Director of of of London London Union which runs some of of of London’s most successful street food markets He was co-founder of of of the Sustainable Restaurant Association and co-authored the the School Food Plan (2013)” “He was appointed lead non-executive board member of of the the Department of of Environment Food and Rural Affairs in March 2018 39

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