Uplands Farmer Andrew Barbour Reflects on Brexit

With only a few months remaining before our scheduled departure from the European Union, Brexit is looming large on the horizon. As talk of transition, hard borders and ‘no-deal’ spreads, we wanted to find out how farmers and food businesses across the country were feeling about the future of UK agriculture.

Is Britain Sleepwalking into a Food Crisis?

On May 8th the government will end its consultation period on a new agricultural policy for England. Revealingly, its policy document – called ‘Health and Harmony: The future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit’– has more to say about the environment than either food or farming.

An Oxford Education

Perhaps I should essay a brief report here on things I heard and learned at the 2018 Oxford Real Farming Conference that I attended a couple of weeks back. If I try to lay it all out in connected prose I’ll probably come grinding to a halt after about 5,000 words, so I thought I’d present it mostly in the form either of little news snippets or of one-sentence assertions…the latter being things I heard people say, or thoughts I had while listening at the conference.

Public Goods Mean Private Benefits

A curious consensus has emerged in the debate about how farming should be supported if the UK leaves the European Union. With a few exceptions, everybody, from the Country Land and Business Association to the New Economics Foundation – including the Environment Secretary Michael Gove – is in favour of paying landowners to provide “public goods”.

Can Food Manifestos Transform the UK Food System?

The future of the United Kingdom’s food system is currently up in the air. Policy analysts and academics have warned that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) will have considerable impact on its food system. In recent years, a number of food reports and manifestos have been developed, calling for new visions and policies that ensure the future of food and farming move in a sustainable direction. The Brexit vote has stepped up these calls…