16th Jul


TFA Media Release – MR19-27 – TFA Supports Call for a “Systems Approach” for Food, Farming and the Countryside

TFA Supports Call for a “Systems Approach” for Food, Farming, and the Countryside

The Tenant Farmers Association (TFA) has welcomed the report from the RSA Food Farming and Countryside Commission (RSA) launched today following two years of research, consultation, and investigation.

TFA Chief Executive, George Dunn, said “The big, takeaway message from the RSA report is the need for Government, Business and Society to be more integrated with policy development, using a systems approach to consider the wider impact of individual measures, interventions, and actions.  Too often, we have seen policy tools focus too narrowly on particular issues without considering the wider consequences which arise from those actions”.

A good example of where this approach would pay major dividends is the way in which Government sets environmental, animal welfare and societal standards for the way food is grown, processed and sold.

“There is little point in setting high standards at home if we open our borders to lower standard food and food ingredients from abroad undermining domestic producers.  Equally, we need to ensure fairness within supply chains so that farmers have access to affordable inputs and technology to produce to the required standards and not driven down on the price of their outputs by powerful processors and retailers looking to maximise profit from the prices they receive from final consumers.  Equally, consumers need to be protected from the use of inappropriate production techniques and have access to food at affordable levels as disposable incomes come under increasing pressure through changes in employment patterns and the benefits system,” said Mr Dunn.

“UK farming is already delivering substantial non-market benefits to society, whether that is about landscape, biodiversity, managing water resources, capturing and storing carbon, providing opportunities for public access and recreation and looking after important heritage sites.  Whilst much of this is free at the point of use, it all comes at a cost and we need a profitable and sustainable farming industry to underpin all of this.  Too often farmers are neither given the credit they deserve nor rewarded appropriately from the market for the job that they do.  This must change and fast,” said Mr Dunn.

“There is much within the RSA report that we could take forward positively.  We now need to find the right vehicle through which to achieve that rather than reverting to the same old siloed debates of the past,” said Mr Dunn.

Ref:  MR19/27                                                               Date: 16 July 2019


Notes for Editors:


For further information contact George Dunn on 07721 998961 or TFA Communications and Events Co-ordinator Julia Meadows on 0118 930 6130.

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