Knowledge for better food systems

Food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit

The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published “Health and Harmony: the future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit” - a summary of the responses to its consultation.

Key findings include:

  • Most respondents supported simplifying the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy during the last years of the UK's membership.
  • Some respondents pointed to land availability as a barrier to new farmers.
  • Many respondents wanted immigration measures to ensure that there are enough agricultural workers.
  • Many respondents supported public access to land, but some farmers were concerned about damage to their businesses and property.
  • Many respondents thought that public health should be treated as a public good by the government. (For a discussion of the definition of “public health” in economics vs. in health, see here and here.)

Read more here and download the full report here (PDF link). See also the Foodsource building block What are food systems?

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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