Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Major Study Aims to Revolutionise Farming Industry

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Major Study Aims to Revolutionise Farming Industry

Article excerpt


ATWO-YEAR study on the future of farming in the UK is being launched today by the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.

Sir Ian Cheshire, chair of Barclays UK and Debenhams, will chair a major new commission into the future of food and farming, which aims to help make the case for an agricultural system that ensures a sustainable future for the UK's countryside.

The commission has been launched as the UK prepares to leave the EU, which will impact on the farming sector in a number of ways.

The loss of subsidies from the Common Agricultural Policy, changes to agricultural regulations, the potential loss of access to the single market and changes to the customs region will all come under the spotlight.

The Commission will also examine what a new system could look like in protecting standards and securing food supply; reforming public investment and the livelihoods of rural communities, and making the most of any new trading opportunities.

Sir Ian said: "I'm delighted to be chairing this landmark Commission which couldn't be timelier.

"We will recommend how the UK should shape its food, farming and countryside policy and practice after Brexit, as a country which imports 40% of its food and where, until now, EU policy has defined the farming sector and our natural rural landscapes.

"Leaving the Common Agricultural Policy will mean we need a whole new approach to how government ensures rural land - about 70% of which is farmed - delivers the greatest long-term benefit to UK society. "Our food system is at the centre of this debate, and there are significant implications for the UK's nations, regions and communities.

"All this is against a backdrop of climate change, emerging aspirations on future trade policy, and our ever-evolving relationship to what we eat. …

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