Welcome to Rural Policy Group’s Annual Report 2021.
The Annual Report 2021, Fair & Sustainable Food Pricing and the Value of Rural was writen against the backdrop of Brexit, the covid pandemic, the devastating war in Ukraine and a wider international context which is exposing fragilities in long global supply chains. Equally, the climate crisis is continuing to impact on harvests and COP26 brought climate action to the forefront of minds. These circumstances, which have contributed to food price inflation and food shortages reiterate importance of food security and the role of our home grown agriculture, food and farming industry.
Through demonstrating the value of agriculture, food and farming to the UK economy, the country’s green transition and the levelling-up agenda, we hope to gain the attention of policy-makers; asking them to reassess their estimations of this vitally important sector and make it a policy priority.
As an equigenic industry agriculture, food and farming has the potential to reduce inequalities of health, income and opportunity across society. It is also uniquely positioned to power the transition to a greener UK plc through innovation in its own practices, engaging with the Environmental Land Management schemes to supply public goods and the provision of green goods and services, such as biofuels, clean energy and carbon sinks, which will support the wider economy to become more sustainable.
Further, shocks in the global system – pandemic, Brexit, war in Europe, climate change – have exposed fragilities in supply chains and it is becoming ever more important to consider our approach to food procurement and food security, and our degree of reliance on international trading partners. Domestic food producers are an important part of the solution to protect our ability to access affordable food and our national security.
However, we can only harness the potential of agriculture, food and farming and reap the benefits for society, economy and environment if the businesses which operate within this sector have a greater degree of financial stability and certainty than they currently enjoy. The report treats the industry as a FTSE 100 constituent and look at how to create conditions which would stimulate investment. We explore the policy framework, supply chain collaboration, development of new markets, consumer demand and how food is valued.
The annual report is uniquely structured to demonstrate the intrinsic value of agriculture, food and farming, and its value as a green powerhouse for society and the economy as a whole. Uniquely, it gives a financial valuation and sustainability statement for the sector, positioning it as a FTSE 100 constituent to demonstrate its scale and reach.
Through a systems-thinking approach, the report pieces together the integral role of the agriculture, food and farming community in delivering food security, better health outcomes and environmental recovery and revitalising rural communities to reduce social and economic inequalities.
It explores both how the rural economy contributes to a greener UK plc and how that sector can be supported to fulfil its significant potential.
WATCH the report launch and discussions at the RPG Sustainable Food & Farming Conference
The Annual Report 2021 was launched with two supporting discussions at the Rural Policy Group’s Sustainable Food & Farming Conference. Watch the two lively sessions in full with their exraordinary panels of speakers drawn from politics, business and the third sector.
With keynote speaker Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle, Green Party Peer sitting in the House of Lords
With keynote speaker Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat Environment, Food and Farming Spokesperson
Written by Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, Katie Tucker, Jose Hopkins and David Hall et al.