Debates between Lord Curry of Kirkharle and Lord Gardiner of Kimble during the 2019 Parliament

Thu 26th Nov 2020
Tue 28th Jul 2020
Agriculture Bill
Lords Chamber

Committee stage:Committee: 7th sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 7th sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 7th sitting (Hansard): House of Lords
Tue 14th Jul 2020
Agriculture Bill
Lords Chamber

Committee stage:Committee: 3rd sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 3rd sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 3rd sitting (Hansard): House of Lords

Food Prices: Agricultural Policy

Debate between Lord Curry of Kirkharle and Lord Gardiner of Kimble
Thursday 18th March 2021

(3 years, 2 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con) [V]
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My Lords, the Government are very clear that our trade deals will not compromise our food standards. All food, regardless of agreement, will have to meet our import requirements. Clearly, obesity must be addressed. The Government’s strategy of July last year took forward actions of the childhood obesity plan, setting out measures and ambitious targets to halve by 2030 the number of children living with obesity and to get the country fitter and healthier.

Lord Curry of Kirkharle Portrait Lord Curry of Kirkharle (CB) [V]
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My Lords, the level of home production could well have an impact on food prices. Can the Minister confirm what assessments the Government have made of the effect that their current policies will have on the level of self-sufficiency of homegrown food? What efforts are the Government making to increase the volume of homegrown food in public sector procurement?

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con) [V]
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My Lords, clearly it is important that there is strong domestic production. We currently produce 66% of our national supply and 77% of indigenous foods. Food production is extremely important and, with Section (1)4 of the Agriculture Act in particular, we will be working with farmers on that as well as on the environmental enhancement we want.

Genetically Modified Food

Debate between Lord Curry of Kirkharle and Lord Gardiner of Kimble
Monday 8th February 2021

(3 years, 3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con) [V]
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My Lords, many countries have been considering their approach to GMO governance and regulation in the light of technological advances. Indeed, these international dimensions have helped to inform our approach to the consultation. We recognise that innovations through technology such as gene editing can help to create new markets, support a sustainable economy, help UK businesses globally and improve agricultural productivity in a way that enhances the natural environment.

Lord Curry of Kirkharle Portrait Lord Curry of Kirkharle (CB) [V]
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My Lords, my interests are as recorded on the register. Does the Minister accept that gene editing and genetic modification are different technologies and that the Government will be considering them separately in terms of policy? Have the Government conducted any consumer research recently into the acceptability of these technologies?

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con) [V]
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My Lords, the noble Lord is right about the distinction. Indeed, gene editing should not be confused with gene modification. Gene-edited organisms generally do not contain DNA from different species. They contain changes that could be made more slowly using traditional breeding methods. We think there is merit in that, which is why we have consulted. Indeed, we want responses to the consultation, which closes on 17 March, and we are very keen to hear from interested parties and members of the public.

Environmental Land Management Schemes

Debate between Lord Curry of Kirkharle and Lord Gardiner of Kimble
Monday 14th December 2020

(3 years, 5 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con)
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My Lords, on the tree policy, anyone signing up to a grant agreement to plant woodland now will not be unfairly disadvantaged when ELM is introduced. It is very important that we proceed with planting trees. I think my noble friend referred to transparency. Yes, the whole point about the pilot is to be clear about learning which areas work well and which do not. This is so that, when we roll out ELM in 2024, all of these features will mean that it will work satisfactorily and well.

Lord Curry of Kirkharle Portrait Lord Curry of Kirkharle (CB) [V]
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My Lords, as the Minister is aware, many family farms in traditional livestock areas are going to find the transition from the current supported system to the new ELM scheme quite a challenge. Will he confirm that, in the pilots, there will be a specific targeting of livestock farms and that they will explore the challenges that these livestock farmers are likely to face?

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con)
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My Lords, in brief, yes—but in the tests and trials it is very important that, for instance among tenant farmers, 62% were upland tenant farmers. We are working in areas where there is a very strong livestock farming tradition. We want that to continue, and that is why the tests and trials will be very important as we then move towards a national pilot, which will obviously include livestock farmers.

Rural Economy

Debate between Lord Curry of Kirkharle and Lord Gardiner of Kimble
Thursday 26th November 2020

(3 years, 6 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble (Con)
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My Lords, the Government will double the amount we invest in the flood and coastal defence programme in England to £5.2 billion over six years from 2021. This will help to protect a further 336,000 properties, including 290,000 homes.

Lord Curry of Kirkharle Portrait Lord Curry of Kirkharle (CB) [V]
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My Lords, my interests are as recorded in the register. Yesterday the Chancellor reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to the long-awaited shared prosperity fund, which the right reverend Prelate mentioned. Can the Minister confirm that there will be a committed element of the fund dedicated to the rural economy, as recommended in the report Time for a Strategy for the Rural Economy?

Agriculture Bill

Debate between Lord Curry of Kirkharle and Lord Gardiner of Kimble
Committee stage & Committee: 7th sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 7th sitting (Hansard): House of Lords
Tuesday 28th July 2020

(3 years, 10 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Agriculture Act 2020 View all Agriculture Act 2020 Debates Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: HL Bill 112-VII Seventh marshalled list for Committee - (23 Jul 2020)
Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble
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My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness for that question. As I say, that is precisely why we have established stakeholder groups as well. I think the commission is going to be invaluable to the Government; it will set the parameters and the issues at large with an expert group, but we will always continue to work with stakeholders because we want to have successful trading partnerships around the world, particularly—as I say—promoting great British food and drink.

Lord Curry of Kirkharle Portrait Lord Curry of Kirkharle [V]
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My Lords, I do not feel in the least embarrassed by my amendment, as suggested by the noble Lord, Lord Grantchester. It is precisely because of concerns about the limited authority of the commission that was launched today that I have tabled Amendment 279. I reassure him that I did not collude with Defra in constructing the amendment; however, I did it with the full support of the NFU.

I will respond to the Minister’s usual very comprehensive response. I am very, very positive indeed about the future of agriculture after we leave the European Union. I have said a number of times that this is one of the most exciting points in history—in my lifetime—and we have a great opportunity to promote British agriculture, food and standards around the world. It is a really interesting and exciting opportunity.

However, I am disappointed that the Minister has not been willing to recognise the weight of opinion in the debate this afternoon. I am sure the noble Baroness, Lady McIntosh, will reinforce this. I ask the Minister to reflect on the comments made today before we return in September for Report. The importance of this issue will not diminish over the summer and it would be really helpful if the department were willing to table its own amendment on this subject on Report.

Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble
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I am glad that the noble Lord, Lord Curry, has answered the question put by the noble Lord, Lord Grantchester, because I was mightily confused at the idea that the noble Lord, Lord Curry, had had a discussion with me or any Defra official.

I said I had made a very careful note of the points that were made. I do not think I can say any more than that at this stage, but I will certainly be ensuring that my ministerial colleagues know the strength of feeling across much of the House. However, it is also incumbent upon me to say to your Lordships that we are a revising and scrutinising House, and the other place—the elected House—also has a very strong constitutional function to fulfil.

Agriculture Bill

Debate between Lord Curry of Kirkharle and Lord Gardiner of Kimble
Committee stage & Committee: 3rd sitting (Hansard) & Committee: 3rd sitting (Hansard): House of Lords
Tuesday 14th July 2020

(3 years, 10 months ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Agriculture Act 2020 View all Agriculture Act 2020 Debates Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: HL Bill 112-IV(Rev) Revised fourth marshalled list for Committee - (14 Jul 2020)
Lord Gardiner of Kimble Portrait Lord Gardiner of Kimble
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My Lords, it is very nice to hear the noble Lord; I enjoy having this dialogue. I am advised that your Lordships will have three times the amount of time, with the six days or more, to consider this Bill in Committee. We should use it wisely; we need to get through a lot of groups. The whole point calls for a bit of good old-fashioned common sense.

Lord Curry of Kirkharle Portrait Lord Curry of Kirkharle (CB) [V]
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I thank the Minister for his usual detailed responses, but I would like to probe him a little more on whether food security is a public good. He is quite correct in saying that there is a market for food. If that is the definition, clearly production of food is not a public good. However, many times in the past the market has not adequately rewarded me for the food I have produced as a farmer. If we want a nation fed on healthy, wholesome food and schoolchildren need healthy meals, one could argue that the need to intervene could occur at some stage in the future. We do not know what the market will be like when we leave the European Union.

The Minister is quite correct that we will discuss Clause 17. This is important and I very much welcome it, but it does not state what the Government will do if there is a food security crisis. I suggest to the Minister that it may be appropriate to reconsider whether food security should be included as a public good, should the Government need to intervene at some stage in future.