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Agricultural Products: Coronavirus

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 22nd May 2020.

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Photo of Jack Lopresti Jack Lopresti Conservative, Filton and Bradley Stoke

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that a range of farm produce that is consistent with best practice in (a) animal welfare and (b) sustainability continues to be made available to consumers.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The food industry has responded quickly and impressively to the significant changes in demand that we have seen over the past weeks. This has ensured supply into stores and people’s homes across the country and has demonstrated that the supply chain remains resilient.

To help industry, the Government has introduced several regulatory easements to keep food supply flowing. These include asking local authorities to show flexibility to allow extended delivery hours and flexing rules on drivers’ hours to allow a higher frequency of deliveries to stores.

More generally, this Government was elected on a manifesto commitment that in all of our trade negotiations we will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards. The UK's growing reputation for quality food and drink, with high standards of food safety, animal welfare and sustainability, serves as an excellent platform to increase demand for our products still further.

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