Food: Sustainable Development

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 11th June 2012.

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Photo of Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on sustainable intensification.

Photo of James Paice James Paice The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The Foresight Report on the Future of Food and Farming defines sustainable intensification as:

“Simultaneously raising yields, while increasing the efficiency with which inputs are used and reducing the negative environmental effects of food production. It requires economic and social changes to recognise the multiple outputs required of land managers, farmers and other food producers, and a redirection of research to address a more complex set of goals than just increasing yield.”

These ideas are reflected in DEFRA’s business plan, where the Government have committed to increasing growth, productivity and competiveness in the farming sector, combined with improvements to the environment. We have taken this approach forward through the Natural Environment White Paper, where we committed to work jointly with the food and farming industry and environmental and consumer organisations to look at how we might reconcile some of the tensions that arise in trying to achieve all of these objectives. The “Green Food project” that is undertaking this work will report its initial findings in July 2012.

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