Action on food security and hedgerows

Cat Rowland CPRE Digital Engagement Officer

Research on food security by the CPRE, the countryside charity, finds that almost 14,500 hectares of England’s best agricultural land been lost to development since 2010 -that’s enough land to grow 250,000 tonnes of vegetables a year! They are calling on the government to introduce a land use strategy that protects prime farmland and safeguards food security. You can see more at: watch our video.

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Livestock, methane, and climate change: The politics of global assessments.

Ian Scoones (submitted by Melanie Fryer)

The relationship between livestock production and climate change is the subject of hot debate, with arguments for major shifts in diets and a reduction in livestock production. This Perspective examines how global assessments of livestock-derived methane emissions are framed, identifying assumptions and data gaps that influence standard life-cycle analysis approaches. These include inadequate data due to a focus on industrial not extensive systems; errors arising due to inappropriate emission factors being applied; questions of how global warming potentials are derived for different greenhouse gases and debates about what baselines are appropriate.

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Could Settle become a Fair Trade town?

Melanie Fryer

Skipton has been a Fair Trade town since July 2014 and I want Settle to receive the same status.  The ACE Food group will be looking at how this could be supported. The idea behind Fair Trade means the farmers and producers receive a fair price with a direct partnership between buyers and producers, farmers and their families have a reliable way to improve their livelihood.

Fair Trade products reflect the people and cultures they come from.

Fair Trade promotes healthy systems that improve soil fertility and preserves valuable ecosystems.

The climate emergency is already hitting them hard, even though they did the least to cause it. Crops are failing, extreme weather is more frequently ruining harvests and plant diseases caused by the changing climate are ever more common.

The Coronavirus pandemic poses a big threat to these rural communities around the world too. Often with limited health care services, farmers and workers also face a highly uncertain future and collapsing markets.

Fairtrade is one way to make a difference, through choosing products with the FAIRTRADE Mark every time you shop.

Now is the time to choose a fair trade Easter Egg – it puts more money in the hands of cocoa farmers.  These farmers should, at least, earn enough for essential medicinal care, decent food and education for their families.

Cocoa farmers are also on the front of the climate crisis, with cocoa especially vulnerable to climate change.

More about Skipton and Fairtrade at:

Melanie Fryer heads up ACE’s Food Group – more at:

UK government removes ‘barriers’ from GMO field trials

Pat Thomas and Lawrence Woodward Beyond GM

Last night (15 March 2022) the House of Lords voted through the Statutory Instrument (SI) which will remove restrictions from GMO field trials in England. This was the final hurdle and 21 days from now this change becomes law. The new regulation amends the UK’s Environmental Protection Act 1990 creating a regulatory exemption for field trials of GMOs that “could have occurred naturally” or been created through traditional breeding. It was voted through without much opposition and without any accompanying scientific guidance on how to determine if a GMO is “natural”. We are told this guidance will come at the end of April, however this will be non-statutory and, therefore, non-binding.

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