Food and Farming

Policy Paper motion

This motion endorses policy paper 154, Food and Farming, and its proposals for a comprehensive National Food Strategy. Motion as passed by conference:

Submitted by: Federal Policy Committee.
Mover: Tim Farron MP (Spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).
Summation: Stuart Roberts (Chair of the Policy Working Group).


Conferences believes that:

  1. It is a national disgrace that anyone is living in food poverty in the UK.
  2. Farming, fishing and rural communities have been let down and taken for granted by the Conservatives and deserve better.
  3. The current global food system is failing to serve the interests and needs of citizens, food producers, the environment and our climate.
  4. Global warming represents an urgent threat to the sustainability of UK agriculture and food security.
  5. The UK's food security needs to be strengthened, with more sustainable domestic produce and reliable and trusted trading partners abroad.
  6. There is no trade off between the environment and food production, both can work together in harmony with the right investment and support.
  7. A fair deal is needed for the UK's food system, which works for the natural environment, our climate consumers and producers.

Conference notes a string of Conservative failures on food and farming, particularly:

  1. The dramatic rise in food poverty over the past decade, especially among children.
  2. Their botched deal with Europe, that has strangled trade and investment in food, farming and fishing.
  3. Trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand, which have undermined both UK standards and the farmers who adhere to them.
  4. Their poor implementation of the Environmental Land Management schemes (ELMs) which has undermined farmers confidence in the future and undermined our natural environment.
  5. A series of failed immigration policies have deprived farmers and fishers of hard working and skilled labour.
  6. The dramatic rise in food prices since 2022, made worse by the Conservatives' incompetent handling of the economy.

Conference also notes that in Scotland and Wales the SNP and the Labour Party have also let down our farmers and fishers, failing to use the powers of the devolved assemblies to properly support Scottish and Welsh fishers, farmers, producers, processors and crofters.

Conference therefore endorses policy paper 154, Food and Farming, and its proposals for a comprehensive National Food Strategy, in particular:

  1. End food poverty, and particularly child food poverty, within a decade by:
    1. Ending deep financial poverty, as set out in policy paper 150, Towards a Fairer Society.
    2. Extending free school meals to all children in primary education and to all secondary school children whose families receive Universal Credit, and automatically enrolling eligible children and funding schools properly to pay for this.
    3. Introducing a holistic and comprehensive strategy to provide everyone with nutritious and healthy food, through better education, industry reformulation and reforms to advertising.
  2. Provide a fair deal for farmers and saving our natural environment by:
    1. Immediately raising the ELM budget by £1bn, so that farmers are properly rewarded and supported to transition to environmentally sustainable farming.
    2. Supporting natural carbon sequestration including through increasing woodland canopy cover to at least 20% by 2050 and banning horticultural peat use and the burning of heather.
    3. Fully funding and resourcing the Agricultural Development & Advisory Service (ADAS) so that it can provide all farmers with the support and training they need.
    4. Introducing a range of other public money for public goods programmes, contingent on farmers and land managers opting in to an ELM scheme.
    5. Introducing a comprehensive plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance in farm animals.
    6. Using public procurement policy to support the consumption of food produced to high standards of environmental and social sustainability, and which is nutritious, healthy and locally and seasonally sourced.
    7. Introducing a new Land and Sea Use Framework, to strategically manage our natural resources as set out in policy paper 155, Tackling the Nature Crisis.
  3. Strengthen UK food security and tackling food price rises by:
    1. Introducing a proper visa and seasonal worker system which allows our farmers and fishers to get access to the workforce they need.
    2. Sustainably increasing domestic food production by providing our farmers with investment, training and support.
    3. Working with and rewarding farmers to reduce the use of costly imported and environmentally harmful artificial fertilisers and pesticides.
    4. Developing a comprehensive land use and horticulture strategy to effectively manage the competing demands on land.
  4. Allow our farmers and fishers to trade freely with Europe and tackle food price rises by:
    1. Signing a veterinary and phytosanitary agreement with the EU as soon as possible.
    2. Mutual recognition and alignment on standards and quality.
    3. Rebuilding trust and cooperation with Europe by following the four-stage roadmap as set out in policy paper 144, Rebuilding Trade and Cooperation with Europe.
  5. Prevent the undercutting of UK farmers and fishers in international trade deals by:
    1. Mandating proper democratic scrutiny and accountability in trade deals.
    2. Ensuring all imports meet UK environmental, climate and animal welfare standards.
    3. Renegotiating the Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreements so that farmers get a fair deal and ensuring that in our future deals, UK standards are upheld.
  6. Put the world's food system on a sustainable footing by restoring the International Development budget and using the money to invest and support sustainable farming overseas.
  7. Put the UK at the forefront of food and farming innovation by introducing a Research and Innovation Fund to support new and emerging technologies in the sector including the further development of alternative proteins in which the UK can become a world leader..
  8. Give everyone confidence in the security and safety of the food they buy by:
    1. Providing local authorities with greater powers and resources to inspect and monitor food production.
    2. Ensuring all food meets UK standards for health, and ensure goods are properly checked where necessary.
    3. Introducing robust and clear to understand food labelling.

Applicability: England only; except 3. a) (lines 76-78) and 4., 5. and 6. (lines 88-111), which are Federal.

Motion before amendment

Conferences believes that:

  1. It is a national disgrace that anyone is living in food poverty in the UK.
  2. Farming, fishing and rural communities have been let down and taken for granted by the Conservatives and deserve better.
  3. The current global food system is failing to serve the interests and needs of citizens, food producers, the environment and our climate.
  4. The UK's food security needs to be strengthened, with more sustainable domestic produce and reliable and trusted trading partners abroad.
  5. There is no trade off between the environment and food production, both can work together in harmony with the right investment and support.
  6. A fair deal is needed for the UK's food system, which works for the natural environment, our climate consumers and producers.

Conference notes a string of Conservative failures on food and farming, particularly:

  1. The dramatic rise in food poverty over the past decade, especially among children.
  2. Their botched deal with Europe, that has strangled trade and investment in food, farming and fishing.
  3. Trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand, which have undermined both UK standards and the farmers who adhere to them.
  4. Their poor implementation of the Environmental Land Management schemes (ELMs) which has undermined farmers confidence in the future and undermined our natural environment.
  5. A series of failed immigration policies have deprived farmers and fishers of hard working and skilled labour.
  6. The dramatic rise in food prices since 2022, made worse by the Conservatives' incompetent handling of the economy.

Conference also notes that in Scotland and Wales the SNP and the Labour Party have also let down our farmers and fishers, failing to use the powers of the devolved assemblies to properly support Scottish and Welsh fishers, farmers, producers, processors and crofters.

Conference therefore endorses policy paper 154, Food and Farming, and its proposals for a comprehensive National Food Strategy, in particular:

  1. End food poverty, and particularly child food poverty, within a decade by:
    1. Ending deep financial poverty, as set out in policy paper 150, Towards a Fairer Society.
    2. Extending free school meals to all children in primary education and to all secondary school children whose families receive Universal Credit, and automatically enrolling eligible children and funding schools properly to pay for this.
    3. Introducing a holistic and comprehensive strategy to provide everyone with nutritious and healthy food, through better education, industry reformulation and reforms to advertising.
  2. Provide a fair deal for farmers and saving our natural environment by:
    1. Immediately raising the ELM budget by £1bn, so that farmers are properly rewarded and supported to transition to environmentally sustainable farming.
    2. Fully funding and resourcing the Agricultural Development & Advisory Service (ADAS) so that it can provide all farmers with the support and training they need.
    3. Introducing a range of other public money for public goods programmes, contingent on farmers and land managers opting in to an ELM scheme.
    4. Introducing a comprehensive plan to tackle antimicrobial resistance in farm animals.
    5. Introducing a new Land and Sea Use Framework, to strategically manage our natural resources as set out in policy paper 155, Tackling the Nature Crisis.
  3. Strengthen UK food security and tackling food price rises by:
    1. Introducing a proper visa and seasonal worker system which allows our farmers and fishers to get access to the workforce they need.
    2. Sustainably increasing domestic food production by providing our farmers with investment, training and support.
    3. Working with and rewarding farmers to reduce the use of costly imported and environmentally harmful artificial fertilisers and pesticides.
    4. Developing a comprehensive land use and horticulture strategy to effectively manage the competing demands on land.
  4. Allow our farmers and fishers to trade freely with Europe and tackle food price rises by:
    1. Signing a veterinary and phytosanitary agreement with the EU as soon as possible.
    2. Mutual recognition and alignment on standards and quality.
    3. Rebuilding trust and cooperation with Europe by following the four-stage roadmap as set out in policy paper 144, Rebuilding Trade and Cooperation with Europe.
  5. Prevent the undercutting of UK farmers and fishers in international trade deals by:
    1. Mandating proper democratic scrutiny and accountability in trade deals.
    2. Ensuring all imports meet UK environmental, climate and animal welfare standards.
    3. Renegotiating the Australia and New Zealand Free Trade Agreements so that farmers get a fair deal and ensuring that in our future deals, UK standards are upheld.
  6. Put the world's food system on a sustainable footing by restoring the International Development budget and using the money to invest and support sustainable farming overseas.
  7. Put the UK at the forefront of food and farming innovation by introducing a Research and Innovation Fund to support new and emerging technologies in the sector.
  8. Give everyone confidence in the security and safety of the food they buy by:
    1. Providing local authorities with greater powers and resources to inspect and monitor food production.
    2. Ensuring all food meets UK standards for health, and ensure goods are properly checked where necessary.
    3. Introducing robust and clear to understand food labelling.

Applicability: England only; except 3. a) (lines 76-78) and 4., 5. and 6. (lines 88-111), which are Federal.


Mover and summation: 16 minutes combined; movers and summation of any amendments: 4 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes. For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see pages 110-111 of the agenda.

The deadline for amendments to this motion is 13.00 Monday 11 September. Those selected for debate will be printed in Conference Extra and Monday’s Conference Daily. The deadline for requests for separate votes is 09.00 on Sunday 24 September.

In addition to speeches from the platform, voting members will be able to make concise (maximum one minute) interventions from the floor during the debate on the motion. See pages 109 and 111 of the agenda for further information.

Amendments

Amendment One

PASSED

Submitted by: 17 members
Mover: Kevin Langford.  
Summation: to be announced.

After III. (line 9), insert:

lV.      Global warming represents an urgent threat to the sustainability of UK agriculture and food security.

After 2. a) (line 61), insert:

b)     Supporting natural carbon sequestration including through increasing woodland canopy cover to at least 20% by 2050 and banning horticultural peat use and the burning of heather.

After 2. d) (line 70), insert:

e)      Using public procurement policy to support the consumption of food produced to high standards of environmental and social sustainability, and which is nutritious, healthy and locally and seasonally sourced.

In 7. (line 114), after ’sector’ insert ‘including the further development of alternative proteins in which the UK can become a world leader.’