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AIC welcomes early re-introduction of Agricultural Bill

20 January 2020

“We welcome this early re-introduction of the Agriculture Bill to the House of Commons”, said AIC Chief Executive Robert Sheasby, “clarifying key issues for the sector ahead of any significant trade agreements is crucial for our members”.

The Bill, first seen in November 2018, has been revised, and now includes a number of important additions which provide both enforcement and support powers to government on Food Security, Fertilisers, Soils and the protection of plant and animal diversity. 

Many of the ambitions of the bill align with the goals set out in the AIC manifesto ahead of the General Election and we welcome the firm recognition by government that food production and care for the environment must go hand-in-hand.

The AIC supports the call for improved productivity and is delighted that the network of 5000 advisers, provided through AIC members, who are on farm day in and day out are well positioned to facilitate this ambition.

There are a number of areas on which we will be seeking clarification from Ministers, particularly around fertilisers. However our overriding concern is that the Bill potentially exposes British producers to being undercut by imports of food produced to lower production standards.  This requires urgent clarification to ensure the strategic investment in the whole supply chain is not undermined.

“We are looking forward to working with Defra Ministers to better understand how they plan to use the powers the bill will grant them”, concludes Mr Sheasby.  “In particular how Defra wish to use the powers granted in relation to the “’closely connected’ agri-food supply chain.  The supply chain in its widest sense will be a significant player in the success of any re-invigorated food system and I know our members are focussed on playing their part”.

ENDS

About AIC

AIC is the UK trade association representing the agricultural supply chain sectors of Arable Marketing, Crop Protection and Agronomy, Feed, Fertiliser and Seeds, since its inception in 2003. In all, AIC represents members responsible for some £9 billion of farm trade. A significant part of its work is political lobbying and influencing as well as supporting members with technical information.

AIC Services, which is the professional services arm of AIC manages a range of services, including Assurance Schemes recognised by UK government as essential tools to underpin feed & food safety alongside fertiliser security.  Currently these include:

TASCC

Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops

FEMAS

Feed Materials Assurance Scheme

UFAS

Universal Feed Assurance Scheme

ESTA

European Seed Treatment Assurance

FIAS

Fertiliser Industry Assurance Scheme

FAR

Feed Adviser Register

RED

Renewable Energy Directive

FAA

Forage Assurance Scheme

APOCS

AIC Services Palm Oil Credit Scheme

Press Contact

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Sarah Riley
Account Director
+44 1452 429175
+44 7498 309114
sriley@rdp.co.uk

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