Changing the future of food and farming

Agroforestry, Agroecology and Organic Farming in the Ag Bill

Agriculture Bill debates on Agroecology, Agroforestry, Organic farming and Soil Health in the House of Lords

The Agriculture Bill is currently going through the Committee Stage in the House of Lords.

Debates on the 9th July included amendments on agroforestry and agroecology: See https://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=2020-07-09c.1309.1#g1320.0

The Organic Research Centre was mentioned by the Earl of Caithness in his speech:

“I have also put my name to the agroecology and agroforestry amendments, because these are hugely important too. They are slightly different ways of farming from nature-friendly farming, but they of course work on exactly the same principle of working with nature. “I pay tribute to the work of the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, Nature Friendly Farming and Agricology, which have been working together for five years. The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Organic Research Centre and the Daylesford Foundation have together done a tremendous amount of work in this area and I can tell the Minister how grateful they are for the financial support that Defra has given them. It is exactly from institutions such as this and the demonstration farm at Allerton that other farmers can learn how to carry out these works and the benefit that they can contribute to their own farms. I hope that, when responding, my noble friend will say that this funding will continue.” (Extract)

Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle also contributed to the debate with this speech (extracts below):

“As the noble Duke, the Duke of Wellington, said, the EU has set figures and aims for the improvement of organic farming. Our record is, sadly, a very slow one, and indeed a story of going backwards. The EU has said that it wants to see 25% of its farmland become organic by 2030. We often hear from the Government in many contexts that they want to be world-leading. If they want the Agriculture Bill to be world-leading, they need to set a target for organics on the face of the Bill higher than that which the EU has set.”

On Amendment 84 (Agroforestry): “If noble Lords have not been to the wonderful Wakelyns, the organic agroforestry research and development site in Suffolk, I urge them to visit and see what can be achieved. It is an inspiring case study and helps demonstrate the principle that agroforestry, broadly speaking, is one-third more productive than simple arable production.”

See also:

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