Coronavirus emergency food plan

Agriculture Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 13th May 2020.

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‘(1) The Secretary of State must, within six months of Royal Assent being given to this Act, prepare and lay before Parliament a document (a “coronavirus emergency food plan”) setting out measures to address the impact of coronavirus and coronavirus disease, and action taken in response, upon the supply of food.

(2) The coronavirus emergency food plan must assess and address—

(a) the matters listed in section 17(2);

(b) the following matters—

(i) the incidence of hunger, malnutrition and food poverty measured (a) nationally and (b) by local authority area;

(ii) the level of demand for emergency food aid and the adequacy of services to meet that demand;

(iii) the availability, distribution and affordability of nutritious and healthy food;

(iv) the ease of access to nutritious and healthy food across different socio-economic groups and communities;

(v) the functioning of the food supply chain, including stock levels of individual food items and any cross-border issues impacting upon the import and export of food; and

(vi) the level of any financial assistance provided by a public authority to farmers, growers and the fishing and fish processing sectors as a result of coronavirus or coronavirus disease.

(3) The plan may take account of information provided in response to a requirement under section 25 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 (power to require information relating to food supply chains), subject to the restrictions on the use and disclosure of information set out in section 27 of that Act (restrictions on use and disclosure of information).

(4) In this section—

“coronavirus” means severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2;

“coronavirus disease” means COVID-19 (the official designation of the disease which can be caused by coronavirus);

“financial assistance” means assistance provided by way of grant, loan, guarantee or indemnity, and any other kind of financial assistance (actual or contingent).”’—(Luke Pollard.)

This new clause would require the Secretary of State lay before Parliament a coronavirus emergency food plan, within six months of Royal Assent.

Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill.

The House proceeded to a remote Division.

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means

The remote voting period in respect of new clause 7 has now finished. I will declare the result shortly, probably after the next Division.