OUR WORK WITH GOVERNMENT
At our launch, Michael Gove charged us with ‘holding government to account on soil health’, which we have been doing to the best of our abilities ever since.
A large part of our work has involved an ongoing dialogue with government and we have developed a close relationship with departments such as Defra and MPs across the house including Rebecca Pow - our champion from the offset - Zac Goldsmith, Michael Gove, Caroline Lucas, Sue Hayman, Kerry McCarthy and more.
We were asked to provide a report to Defra on the best way to support healthy soils within the forthcoming Environment Bill, following our work collating and analysing responses to the 25 Year Environment Plan. Read the full report, including recommendations on key indicators to track progress towards goals included in Plan and the Environment Bill, here.
We have been discussing amendments to the UK’s new Agriculture Bill with members of the House of Lords - namely for healthy soil to be recognised as a public good in itself and therefore eligible for the receipt of public funds. More information on our progress so far can be found here. (ELMS?)
We provided a detailed response to the government’s 25 Year Plan for the Environment and convened a parliamentary event focusing on soils in the Plan, with speakers including Minister for Farming George Eustice and Zac Goldsmith MP. View the full report and videos of all speakers here.
Our parliamentary launch event, held at Portcullis House, Westminster, in October 2017 and hosted by our champion Rebecca Pow MP, featured speakers from government including Secretary of State Michael Gove and Baroness Young of the House of Lords. Details can be found here.
The Future of Welsh Farming
We submitted a response to the Consultation, Brexit and our land: Securing the future of Welsh farming, which proposes ambitious plans for the future of Welsh land reform. We argued for policies that achieve soil health to be at the heart of this work – and highlighted the fact that ‘concentration of carbon and organic matter in soil’ is one of the 46 Indicators used by the Welsh authorities to map Wales’ pathway towards national wellbeing and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
We were invited to contribute to:
Defra Agricultural Lowlands Peat Strategy workshop (establishing the first government Lowland Agricultural Peat Taskforce, to begin work in 2019. We also welcome the publication of a new England Peat Strategy next year, as announced by Michael Gove at the end of November.)
Defra & Agricultural Economics Society one-day conference on Public Money for Public Goods