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MPs show support for innovation in agriculture and sustainable food production

Parliamentarians and industry experts gathered to discuss decarbonising agriculture and supporting biodiversity in Parliament on Tuesday 10th March.

Broadcaster Chris Bavin, co-judge of the BBC series Britain’s Best Home Cook and co-presenter of Eat Well for Less?, was the keynote speaker at the dinner, organised by the Agricultural Biotechnology Council (ABC) and the Crop Protection Association (CPA). The evening was hosted by Owen Paterson MP, and also featured a contribution from Caroline Drummond, Chief Executive of the agricultural education organisation LEAF (Linking Environment And Farming).

Addressing guests, Bavin spoke about food security challenges, including how producers can ensure that food remains affordable and nutritious, and the obstacles facing consumers in buying fresh produce. Drummond, who has been running LEAF for nearly 30 years, discussed subjects including the benefits of Integrated Farm Management, an approach that uses the best of both modern technology and traditional methods.

During the event, guests pledged to support science and innovation in agriculture, highlighting benefits including helping to achieve net zero carbon emissions, delivering on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals through growing more nutritious and resilient crops, improving crop yields whilst protecting the environment and supporting biodiversity, and giving farmers access to every tool in the box to produce high quality, nutritious and affordable food in a sustainable manner.

Decarbonising Agriculture supporting biodiversity parliamentary dinner sponsored by Owen Paterson at The House of Commons, London, UK.
Picture by Ben Stevens
Friday 6th of March 2020

CPA is the voice of the UK plant science industry. It promotes the essential role of science and innovation on protecting food, parks, gardens, roads and railways, and advocates good stewardship, better regulation and best practice. abc comprises of four member companies who work with the food chain and research community to invest in a broad range of crop technologies – including conventional and advanced breeding techniques, such as GM.

Together, these organisations have a vision for UK agriculture that provides nutritious, affordable and safe food efficiently, while reducing the sector’s impact upon the environment. This centres on bringing science to the solutions to global challenges including climate change and food insecurity. Research has found that without access to crop protection products the average UK family grocery bill could rise by more than £786 over the course of a year.[1]

Sarah Mukherjee, Chief Executive of the CPA commented: “I am delighted to have the support of so many parliamentarians at this landmark joint event. With the Agriculture Bill progressing through Parliament, and with the spotlight on sustainable farming methods, it has never been more important to highlight the ways in which science and innovation can help farmers provide nutritious, affordable and safe food efficiently, while reducing the sector’s impact upon the environment.”

Mark Buckingham, Chair of the Agricultural Biotechnology Council said: ‘With the global population growing, concern about carbon emissions and food security high, and farmers challenged to do more with less impact on the environment, it is vital that we embrace technology and innovation to support sustainable agriculture. I am delighted that so many MPs and stakeholders were able to attend this event to hear from the experts about how we build a farming system fit for the future .’