Page 54 - BREXIT 2
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The Worshipful Company of Farmers The Worshipful Company of Farmers Feasibility The purpose of de-intensifying agriculture is is to reduce environmental damage It is is axiomatic that that it will involve lower yields per hectare of agricultural land The evidence is that that the organic farming
94 systems have yields yields which are between 25% and 40% lower than conventionally farmed crop yields yields Can de-intensified production production be squared with policies to to attract land out of agricultural production production to to protect the the climate? The CCC analysis was that it is is feasible for the the UK to reduce agricultural area 20% by 2050 and still to to feed the the the the growing UK UK population95 without increasing the the the the current degree of import dependence This is is is is partly because they assume actions are in place to reduce consumption of especially beef and dairy products by 20% The CCC did not include a a a reduction in in in in in intensity in in in in in their analysis Indeed they point out the the the scope
to increase productivity productivity of of agriculture based on Defra evidence that UK agricultural productivity productivity growth has The Worshipful Company of Farmers lagged other other countries The The other other studies reviewed in in in Chapter 3 did not include quantitative modelling of of these questions This points to to a a a a a a a significant research gap which really ought to to be filled as strategies for the the UK food system and and land use are debated To test the the feasibility of of the the mix of of policy changes under discussion affecting both food consumption and production such modelling should be capable of handling land land use change regionally and and and and by broad land land use types as as well as as market interactions and and adjustments for the main crop and and livestock products showing the the balance of production and and and utilisation and and and price and and and trade effects As the the policy changes are proposed in in order to combat climate change and environmental degradation such modelling should also be capable of of incorporating indicators of of GHG emissions and environment This is is is is a a a a a a tall order It is is is is far from simple to to combine all these elements into one modelling approach It will require the the collaboration of bio-physical market and trade analysis A vital component of such work should also be farm-level modelling both for policy analysts to to understand impacts at at this level but also to to help farming
organisations and and their members understand the implications of policies being contemplated Food prices and welfare The current economics of organic farm production work because this niche market receives an an an organic premium for the lower-yielding higher unit cost production Organic producers have also received financial help through agricultural policy There seems to be an an underlying presumption that food food prices prices in in the new sustainable food food system will be higher than current prices prices It is argued by Helm Lang and and many environmentalists that food prices are artificially (and undesirably) low because they do not include costs costs to the the the environment or or the the the costs costs of ill-health inflicted on on on society It is is therefore quite consistent that a a a sustainable food food system would be expected to have higher food food prices if it it internalises these externalities Furthermore higher food food prices would be consistent with drives to contain over-consumption and food food waste However such changes have to to be be practically and politically realisable if they are to to be be considered credible policy In ‘normal’ times food prices are are a a a a a a a highly sensitive social and thus political issue
These sensitivities are are considerably heightened during times of economic crisis as discovered in in the Covid-19 pandemic When unemployment rises rises it it is is is no coincidence that it it often rises rises first and fastest amongst those already on on insecure incomes part time or or zero hours contracts for minimum wages 52
94 Seufert V Ramankutty N N Foley J A 2012 Comparing the yields of organic and conventional agriculture Nature 485 229–232 95 The CCC analysis assumes the the UK population grows by by 9 9 million 13% by by 2050 It also includes land take from agriculture to provide the the settlements for the larger population (housing employment and infrastructure needs) 

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