12 September 2018
Responding to the Government's Agriculture Bill, published today, Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas MP said:
"This Agriculture Bill has been injected with warm words about protecting our environment - but its failure to commit to long-term funding and strong enforcement powers means it reads more like a wish-list than a plan of action.
"While it's good to see an end to subsidies for wealthy landowners and ideas for encouraging farmers to improve our environment, promised payments for 'improving productivity' could end up accelerating industrial agriculture's destruction of nature.
"We need a robust and independent system for determining what farmers are paid for to ensure public money doesn't reward tokenistic gestures - such as having a wind turbine while continuing to drench fields in pesticides. This new system should be designed to dismantle the industrial agriculture that is destroying nature and wildlife, and encourage smaller-scale, sustainable farms with the highest animal welfare standards.
"With Michael Gove having already backed down on his promise to ban live animal exports, it's clear we can't rely on his word."