The Time Party will ensure that Britain resumes responsibility for subsidising UK farmers as soon as we exit the EU. This payment system will be focused on increasing production. Under TIME, farmland will be protected from residential and industrial development.
Every effort will be made to support British farmers after the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union is complete. To this end, when in government, we will subsidise British farmers with an emphasis on production and productivity rather than farm size. The EU-CAP will be substituted with an equivalent government-backed UK system of subsidies, orientated towards the immediate and long term needs of Britain.
At present, local authorities can only compulsarily purchase agricultural land if it already has planning permission, making it 100 times more valuable. We recognise that lobbyists are now pushing for this land to be sold at a discounted price, thereby devouring precious irreplacable farm land, so vital to the country’s food security. Time will make it illegal to purchase any productive farmland with the intention of urbanising it.
The party will introduce a new subsidised farming apprenticeship scheme to increase the trained British workforce in the agriculture sector. We will strengthen food labelling criteria ensuring that, among other factors, type of slaughter and exact location of production are clearly identified. We will halt the export from the UK of live animals and enhance animal welfare codes of practice. We will endeavour to reduce antibiotic use, with the aim of removing them entirely. We approve of compulsory CCTV in abattoirs to constantly monitor all stages of the slaughter process.
We will encourage the reopening of small artisanal abattoirs often serving a single butcher’s business and providing a humane slaughter facility to the local farming community. These will be regularly inspected by the Food Standards Agency.
Because of EU regulations that restrict the sale of odd-shaped fruit and veg, we have a growing problem with food waste, particularly when it comes to fresh produce.
Unbelievably, more than 85,000 tonnes, a third of total production, of perfectly good fruit and vegetables are thrown away each and every week on average simply because they don’t conform to the 367 pages of EU regulations (comprising 175,000 words) covering the appearance of fresh fruit and veg.
This waste of perfectly edible and wholesome food is nothing short of a scandal. Once we’ve left the EU, the Time Party wants to see the red tape covering slightly imperfect-looking fruit and veg binned. In fact, the Time Party would see restrictions on the aesthetics of all fresh food removed. In addition, TIME will ensure that farmers and other food producers will forge strong relationships with our hospitals, schools, prisons and other institutions so that they can buy this fresh produce which should be locally-sourced.
We want to see farmers benefiting from selling food that would otherwise be thrown away. At the same time, the public sector could buy locally sourced, wholesome fruit and veg at a reduced price. Our plan would curtail food waste and cut down CO2 pollution through the reduction of food miles. Our plan will enable us to feed vulnerable members of our community with healthy and wholesome food while creating a new deal for farmers.