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Written Question
Forests: Commodities
Wednesday 20th December 2023

Asked by: Lord Inglewood (Non-affiliated - Excepted Hereditary)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to introduce legislation along the lines of the proposed Forest Risk Commodity regulations in respect of foodstuffs produced outside the UK in a manner which is forbidden to UK producers of the same commodity.

Answered by Lord Douglas-Miller

The Government shares the public’s high regard for the UK’s environmental protections, food standards and animal welfare. All agri-food products must comply with the UK’s import requirements in order to be placed on the UK market. For example, hormone-treated beef and chlorinated chicken are banned in the UK and the Prime Minister has been clear that these will not be allowed to enter the UK market. This includes products from longstanding trading partners alongside products traded under the terms of new Free Trade Agreements.

The Forest Risk Commodities Scheme will be introduced through provisions in Schedule 17 of the Environment Act 2021. This new due diligence legislation requires regulated organisations to establish and implement a due diligence system for any regulated commodity, and any products derived from them, that they use in their commercial activities. The scheme will cover foodstuffs, including cattle products (excluding dairy), cocoa, palm oil and soy.


Written Question
Food: Imports
Monday 6th March 2023

Asked by: Lord Inglewood (Non-affiliated - Excepted Hereditary)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 13 February (HL5359), whether they will now answer the question put, namely, how they intend to enforce their policy that food produced to lower environmental and welfare standards outside the UK will not be placed on the UK market, despite being allowed tariff-free access to the country.

Answered by Lord Benyon

We remain firmly committed to upholding our world-leading environmental, food and animal welfare standards as an independent trading nation.

All agri-food products must comply with our import requirements in order to be placed on the UK market, whether they are subject to tariffs or not. This may include some products produced to different animal welfare or environmental standards. This has always been the case and includes products from the EU and other longstanding trading partners.

The UK will not compromise its high standards of environmental protection, animal welfare and food safety in any trade partnerships or agreements. We are clear that more trade will not come at the expense of our values and we will continue to champion high standards globally.


Written Question
Food: Imports
Monday 13th February 2023

Asked by: Lord Inglewood (Non-affiliated - Excepted Hereditary)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask His Majesty's Government how they intend to enforce their policy that food produced to lower environmental and welfare standards outside the UK will not be placed on the UK market, despite being allowed tariff-free access to the country.

Answered by Lord Benyon

The UK is a world leader on environmental and animal welfare standards. Environmental and animal welfare considerations continue to be central to our approach to agricultural trade in line with our clear manifesto commitment that the UK's high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards will not be compromised by our trade negotiations.


Written Question
Agriculture: Land
Friday 22nd April 2022

Asked by: Lord Inglewood (Non-affiliated - Excepted Hereditary)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Benyon on 6 April (HL7283), what plans they have, if any, to redress the strategic balance between food production, environmental protection and other priorities within rural land use policy in response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Answered by Lord Benyon

Under the Agriculture Act 2020, we have a legal duty to assess the impact of all our schemes, including our new environmental land management schemes, on food production. The first Food Security Report was published in December 2021. The Government will continue to monitor the situation in Ukraine and respond appropriately.


Written Question
Agriculture: Land
Wednesday 6th April 2022

Asked by: Lord Inglewood (Non-affiliated - Excepted Hereditary)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reconsider their priorities for agriculture and rural land use policy owing to the impact of the war in Ukraine.

Answered by Lord Benyon

On 30 March the Government announced steps to assist farmers, address uncertainty and keep costs down. Planned changes to the use of urea fertiliser have been delayed by at least a year. The delay has been made to help farmers deal with rising input costs and to give them more time to adapt.

The Government also published revised statutory guidance on how farmers should limit the use of slurry and other farmyard manure at certain times of the year. This will be supported through new slurry storage grants as of this year, helping farmers reduce their dependence on artificial fertiliser.

Alongside this, the Government has published further details on the Sustainable Farming Incentive. The scheme will pay farmers to build the health and fertility of their soil and reduce soil erosion which are essential for sustainable food production, helping to bolster food security and longer-term resilience of the sector.

The Government will pay farmers to help with the costs of sowing nitrogen fixing plants and green manures or in advance of their crops. This will help substitute some of their fertiliser requirements for the coming season and reduce their dependence on manufactured fertilisers linked to the price of gas. In addition, an industry fertiliser roundtable has been set up and chaired by the Farming Minister, to work on these issues, identify solutions and better understand the pressures facing farmers at this time.


Written Question
Ash Dieback Disease
Monday 20th September 2021

Asked by: Lord Inglewood (Non-affiliated - Excepted Hereditary)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of (1) the number of roadside ash trees in England, (2) how many of these trees will need to be felled due to ash dieback, and (3) the average cost of felling and removing each tree.

Answered by Lord Benyon

The Government has a long-established Ash Dieback Health and Safety Taskforce comprising the Forestry Commission, Natural England and key stakeholders such as the National Trust, Woodland Trust, Tree Council, CLA, Arboricultural Association, Highways Agency, Network Rail and ten Local Authorities, which meets regularly and guides our approach on reducing the impact of ash dieback on public health and safety.

Working with the Health and Safety Taskforce, we estimate that there are approximately four million ash trees situated alongside roads, of which a large proportion (approximately 1.4 million) will need to be managed. The costs of felling a tree can vary considerably, and we have used case study examples to help inform assessments – these examples range from £400-£500. A strategic approach to planning and coordination can help reduce costs, and to support Local Authorities and other regional bodies dealing with ash dieback, Defra has worked with the Tree Council to develop an Ash Dieback Toolkit. The Government has recently announced a new Tree Health pilot, which is designed to support action against pests and diseases affecting trees, the pilot includes support for diseased and infested trees outside of woodland, for example roadside ash with ash dieback.


Written Question
Ivory: Registration
Monday 6th August 2018

Asked by: Lord Inglewood (Non-affiliated - Excepted Hereditary)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the estimated total annual gross cost of the registration scheme outlined in the Ivory Bill in respect of pre-1947 items with low ivory content; and how many items they anticipate will be registered each year.

Answered by Lord Gardiner of Kimble

We are working on the design and development of the new IT system to facilitate the registration process, in line with the principles of managing public money. Those registering items will need to pay a fee to cover the costs of registration.

The data available does not provide an exact number of items in the UK that are made of or contain ivory. We are therefore unable to anticipate how many items owners may wish to sell, and subsequently register, each year under this exemption.

We will, however, once the ban is in force, be publishing headline data on the number of exemption certificates that have been issued for each category of exemption.


Written Question
Ivory
Friday 27th July 2018

Asked by: Lord Inglewood (Non-affiliated - Excepted Hereditary)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the estimated total number of items in the UK which fall within the Ivory Bill's definition of pre-1947 items with low ivory content.

Answered by Lord Gardiner of Kimble

During the consultation on our ivory ban, we sought evidence from the antiques trade and others, including on the nature and number of items in the UK that are made of or contain ivory. However, the data available is limited and we are therefore unable to specify how many items fall under this exemption.

However, once the ban is in force, we will be publishing headline data on the number of exemption certificates that have been issued for each category of exemption.


Written Question
Forests: Pest Control
Monday 7th March 2016

Asked by: Lord Inglewood (Non-affiliated - Excepted Hereditary)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Forestry Commission permits forms of shooting on any of its land in circumstances which fall within its definition of "free shooting".

Answered by Lord Gardiner of Kimble

The Forestry Commission only associates the term free-shooting with the control of grey squirrels for the protection of red squirrel populations and the reduction of damage to timber crops, not any other wildlife management activity.

There may be occasions where free-shooting takes place by the holders of Game Shooting Leases or by its own wildlife rangers. There may also be free-shooting of grey squirrels carried out where there are retained sporting rights over which the Forestry Commission does not exercise any direct control.


Written Question
Squirrels: Pest Control
Monday 7th March 2016

Asked by: Lord Inglewood (Non-affiliated - Excepted Hereditary)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many grey squirrels were culled on the public estate in each Forest District of England and Wales in each of the last three years; and how many were culled by (1) trapping, and (2) shooting, in each of the years in each of the Districts.

Answered by Lord Gardiner of Kimble

The Forestry Commission does not hold records of the numbers of squirrels killed on the public forest estate in England. The Forestry Commission ceased to operate in Wales on 1 April 2013 with the creation of Natural Resources Wales and we do not hold any information on grey squirrel culling on the Welsh Government woodland estate.