Government failing UK farming

In spring 2011 the Government promised to do its bit to give UK farming a healthy future. One year on and it’s not making the grade.

At an event last March, Agriculture Minister Jim Paice said the Government would "play its part" in making our farming more planet-friendly - better for you, me and farmers too.

Like a promising student, his speech was full of ambition. But, just 12 months in, Friends of the Earth's end-of-term report card shows that the Government is failing.

Bottom of the class

The Government gets a grade B for its research into replacing Soy as animal feed - demand for imported Soy is leading to mass deforestation and people being thrown off their land.

But that's as good as it gets - as the report card shows:

  • Failure to push for planet-friendly improvements to Common Agriculture Policy (grade D)
  • Failure to encourage the use of more food waste for animal feed (F)
  • Failure to give clear guidelines on healthy diets (another F)
  • Missed opportunity to promote healthier menus in schools and hospitals (D).

Ministers must step up to the plate and insist on planet-friendly food and farming. We can't allow our food system to cost the earth - the Government must do better.

Vicki Hird, Farming Campaigner, Friends of the Earth


Friends of the Earth believes that to make the grade the Government must:

  • Encourage farmers to grow their own animal feed.
  • Support crop rotations - to naturally improve the quality of soil
  • Target help to farms that provide the most public benefits

We're also urging the Government to keep its promise on a new Grocery Bill - to improve how big supermarkets treat farmers.

Take our online action

Help us call for better farming by sending our email to Minister Caroline Spelman. Thank you.