I’ve been talking to a wide range of people involved in food and farming over the last few weeks about how leaving the EU could change their businesses. According to The Spectator (27/02/16) 40% of the EU budget is spent on supporting farmers via the Common Agricultural Policy or CAP. With Britain paying £6 billion into the fund you would be forgiven for thinking it’s an expensive issue, if not an important one. However food and farming has been overshadowed by the headline grabbing issues of boarders, immigration and terrorism.
Whilst the Guardian has broached the issue of falling incomes for farmers in a post-Brexit UK, very little has been mentioned in the mainstream media. Is this because we don’t have an have an appetite for food politics? Or as the Spectator states because we are now urban dwellers (80% of the population) we are removed from farming, removing support both social and political, from farmers.
For me farming is a vital aspect of ‘Brexit’ because the EU has played such an important role in regulating the agricultural practices that produce our food. That is why over the last few weeks I have been talking ‘Food Brexit’ to anyone who will listen. However it’s felt like a one woman campaign until I heard about an event being hosted by The Kindling Trust and The Food Ethics Council.
‘EU Referendum: a spotlight on food & farming’ is an event that will “bring together industry experts and those working in the sustainable food sector to get clued up about the implications of staying in or leaving the EU” and will explore “the social, economic, cultural, environmental and ethical implications of the ‘stay’ or ‘leave’ outcomes”.
I am really disappointed not to be able to make what sounds like a challenging and informative event. However I am really glad that finally campaigning organisations and those working in the agricultural sector are coming together to talk ‘Food Brexit’.
The event is happening this Tuesday (19th of April 2016) and you can register here. If you are attending the event I would love to hear from you afterwards, to find out about the presentations, the debates and mostly importantly where ‘Food Brexit’ goes from here.