RPG is helping the UK’s agriculture, food and farming sector towards financial and environmental stability

Rural Policy Group Founder Mark Lumsdon-Taylor sat down with Daniel Zeichner, Shadow Environment Secretary, to discuss why we need change in food policy and how the work of RPG supports agricultural, food and farming businesses.

The Rural Policy Group mission

Rural Policy Group is a visionary think tank and advocate for financially and environmentally sustainable food policy across the United Kingdom. Originally set up with a broader rural focus, we quickly turned our energies to the big issues in agriculture, food and farming.

Farms and other food businesses cannot go green when they are in the red. Our mission is to support policymakers in the development of a policy, regulatory and tax framework to help businesses back into a position where they are confident there a future to invest in. Equally, we work to guide businesses in translating government intiatives into action and reward, while ensuring industry leaders are knowledgeable about the benefits of sustainability and aware of the opportunities available to them in a green UK plc.

RPG provides a voice for the rural economy in the UK, facilitating dialogue between rural businesses, allied industries and government. As we enter a new post-Brexit and post-COVID paradigm, the policy group continues to support small businesses, multi-national companies and public sector organisations alike to achieve greener, more equitable growth for UK PLC, and improve the lives of people living in rural and remote communities.

“Agriculture underpins everything we want to be as a society and economy”

The Rural Policy Group journey so far

Film credit: MHA & RPG

Since its inception in 2019, Rural Policy Group has become known for its hard-hitting and honest RED Talks on the big issues in rural economic development. Focusing exclusively on food supply chain fairness, food value and food security, RPG cooperates with business, policymakers and academia to foster innovation in tackling the underlying challenges to profitability, productivity and sustainability.

RPG is also known for its annual Sustainable Food Report which demonstrates the financial importance of the food supply chain to UK Plc and its wider benefits to society, economy and environment. Uniquely, each year we value a different agricultural county as if it was a FTSE100 constituent to demonstrate the scale of the supply chain, and the influence smaller businesses could wield if they acted together.

RPG’s Sustainable Food Conference, held each Summer, is emerging as an integral part of the agricultural show season and for the first time we are collaborating with two of the country’s most loved shows for 2024, the Great Yorkshire Show and the South of England Show.

The APPG on Fair Value in the Food Supply Chain is one of the most important levers we have to effect change in supply chain fairness. It is the first and only parliamentary group dedicated to the issue. We are working with a cross-party group of MPs and Lords who are committed to supporting a financially and environmentally sustainable food system which serves all economic actors and the consumer. We are not just another ‘talking shop’. The APPG is producing a briefing paper outlining the problems with the status quo and offering recommendations. The briefing paper will be shared with parliamentarians around the four nations of the UK.

rural policy group vinyard 2

Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

We delve into the issues of the day facing rural businesses and rural communities, providing insight, commentary and sustainable business and financial advice to industries as diverse, yet inextricably linked, as farming, food, tourism and hospitality. Underpinning this policy theme is the need for reform in the food system, starting with a more ambitous food security target and a review of food pricing and margin share in the supply chain. 

Pets and Older People Image

Health

An economy cannot function without a healthy population to drive it and medical intervention alone does not provide a sustainable or effective solution for better health. We work with public & private healthcare providers and employers to improve public health and wellbeing through the integration of prevention healthcare and natural treatments with traditional medical structures. Along with our ecosystems approach to healthcare and prevention health, RPG has a special interest in mental wellness.

Creating Good Mental Health

Environment Social Governance (ESG)

We engage with government and business to support the journey to Net Zero carbon emissions and encourage the uptake of more sustainable and ethical financial and business practices across the rural economy and allied industries. 

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