Examination of Witnesses

Part of Agriculture Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:57 pm on 13th February 2020.

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James West:

I would add that it is important that the Bill is joined-up in its thinking, in as far as protection from potentially being undercut—as I am sure you have heard lots of times—as a result of trade agreements. That is fairly critical. That is not in the Bill. Added to that would be that you are then providing farmers with subsidies and grants to help them move to higher standards of production. We should also be looking at things such as method of production labelling—as Nick said, that it is a “may” in the Bill, rather than a “must”—so that consumers know what they are purchasing. We should also look at Government procurement policy, so that in addition to protecting farmers from what is coming into the country, you are also rewarding farmers for delivering higher standards and for protecting our animal welfare standards. Just on Government procurement, McDonald’s has better animal welfare procurement policies than the UK Government, which should not be the case, and the Bill could address that.