On 28th January 2020 the House of Lords debated a question from Lord Collins of Highbury, asking Government”what consideration they have given to formulating their pledge at the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth 2020 summit, and what they are doing to build commitments from other countries.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, I, too, welcome this timely debate. I thank the noble Lord, Lord Collins, and welcome the opportunity offered by the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit.
It is moving to note, as other noble Lords have mentioned, that the number of people suffering from hunger has been increasing since 2015, albeit slowly. We know that behind the statistics lie terrible and moving stories of human suffering, disease and death, especially across Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. It is sobering to ponder on the one hand the challenge of providing a sustainable diet and preventing the lifelong consequences of malnutrition and, on the other, the striking rise in obesity across the world and consequent health problems. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford asks Government about links between food security, poor nutrition and climate change”
On 27th January the Bishop of St Albans , Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled to Government on food production and self-sufficiency. The exchanges are below, including from Peers asking their own follow-up questions:
Agriculture Bill: Food Production
The Lord Bishop of St Albans
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether food production is included in the definition of “public good” contained in the Agriculture Bill.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Gardiner of Kimble) (Con): My Lords, I declare my farming interests, as set out in the register. The Agriculture Bill includes powers to give financial assistance to farmers based on public money for public goods. These are goods and services not provided by the market. Clause 1(4) states:
“In framing any financial assistance scheme, the Secretary of State must have regard to the need to encourage the production of food by producers in England and its production by them in an environmentally sustainable way.”
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, I thank the Minister for his reply. A prime duty of government is to ensure that there is enough food to feed the population. Yet one has only to think about the impact of things such as coronavirus, and the immediate ban on the movement of live animals, to show how vulnerable we are, not least when this country is only 60% self-sufficient in food. Will the Minister assure the House that the Agriculture Bill will maximise the level of food production and food security for the country’s future? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about food security and self-sufficiency”
On the 7th January the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Paul Butler, spoke during the second day of debate on the Queen’s Speech, on the topics of child poverty, climate change sustainable development and immigration:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, initially I want to note how little reference there is in the gracious Speech to the needs of children, except in the realm of education. There is nothing about children’s first 1,000 days, nor any firm commitment to tackle the iniquity of child poverty. How we treat children speaks volumes for where our priorities lie. Could the Minister please comment on this omission?
Continue reading “Bishop of Durham raises global human rights, poverty, development and climate change in Queen’s Speech debate”
On 7th January 2020 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, received two written answers from Government, about agriculture in future trade deals, and the Agriculture Bill:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: HL71
(i) To ask Her Majesty’s Government what plans they have, if any, to exclude agriculture from future trade deals.
HL70 (ii) To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the Agriculture Bill will be introduced to Parliament.
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about post-Brexit trade deals and agriculture”
On 2nd May 2019 the Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a question he had tabled, on rural crime. The answer, his follow-up, and those of other Members are reproduced below:
Farming Communities: Rural Crime
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact of rural crime on farming communities.
Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government what is being done to tackle hare coursing and rural crime”
On 12th February 2019 Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb asked the Government “what plans they have to achieve net zero carbon emissions in farming.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, one point that the NFU made is that our wonderful British beef farmers are already two and a half times more efficient than the world average and four times more efficient compared with the beef from South America, so surely one of the most important things that Her Majesty’s Government could do is to put their weight behind British beef farming. What plans do they have for that sector post Brexit? Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about plans for beef farming sector after Brexit”
On 23rd October 2018 the Bishop of Salisbury, Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, asked a question on behalf of the Bishop of St Albans, on Brexit and food security. A transcript of the follow-up question and those of other Members is below:
Brexit: Food Security
Tabled by The Lord Bishop of St Albans
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of food security following Brexit.
The Lord Bishop of Salisbury: I beg leave to ask the Question in the name of the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of St Albans, who has been detained on other business.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Gardiner of Kimble) (Con): My Lords, Defra regularly assesses the security of food supply and has well-established relationships with industry on supply chain resilience. The UK has a high degree of food security, as shown by the UK Food Security Assessment. This is built on access to diverse sources of supply, including our domestic production. I declare my farming interests as set out in the register. Consumers will continue to have a wide choice of food after we leave the EU.
Continue reading “Bishop of Salisbury asks Government about impact of Brexit on food security”