Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 25th October 2018.

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Vicki Hird:

We very much welcome that move—we have been calling for it for a long time. We would make sure that it enables payments that can deliver a truly sustainable farming and food system, so that it delivers good, healthy and affordable food to people as near as possible to where they are. We would look for a broadening of the payments to make sure that people can actually afford food locally in local markets. We think that the outcome has to be measurable and the payments have to be accessible.

We have talked about having some sort of way in which governance can be defined at local or even regional level, so that you are both covering landscape or catchment-scale outcomes where possible, and making sure that you are truly covering the environmental outcomes that we need to see, including on climate change. That means covering not just edge-of-field features that might be very visible, but also making sure to cover in-field farming systems. We would like to see an outcome that supports agro-ecological systems, such as organic and whole-farm systems that truly look in the field to tackle some of the worst pollution and environmental problems.