Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:12 pm on 25th October 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Kerry McCarthy Kerry McCarthy Labour, Bristol East 12:12 pm, 25th October 2018

Q It is good to see the British Growers Association here, because yesterday, in the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, which is also taking evidence on the Bill, we had representatives from the dairy sector, the red meat sector and the ornamental horticulture sector, which was slightly odd, because the answer to whether they should be covered by the Groceries Code Adjudicator was mostly, “No, we don’t care about that”—well, of course they do not, because they are not grocers. There was an obvious gap with you not there.

I have tabled an amendment on public health, which I hope that you will welcome. It talks about measures to increase the availability, affordability, diversity, quality and marketing of fruit and vegetables. It also talks about pesticide use and antimicrobial resistance—the overuse of antibiotics. Some environmental organisations have said that they do not support the public health goal. I wonder whether we could do more, other than putting it in as a public good, particularly around procurement. In France, for example, there is a rule that 50% of public procurement should be locally sourced or organic produce. Could we do more on that front in the Bill?