Farming and Food Srategy group to continue

by 5m Editor
12 January 2004, at 12:00am

UK - Ministers have given the independent group set up oversee delivery of the government's wide-reaching Sustainable Farming and Food Strategy another year to build on the progress and successes already achieved.

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Margaret Beckett, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, has asked Sir Don Curry's Implementation Group to continue until December 2004. Mrs Beckett welcomed the group's contribution to the solid progress made in 2003 on delivering the strategy.

The group is helping government and industry to work together to shape a more profitable, diverse, competitive and environmentally-sensitive farming and food sector. Detailed delivery plans are in place and a disciplined approach is being taken to achieving milestones and the measurement of progress using a range of indicators.

Over the past year the group has supported the establishment of several major building blocks such as the successful launch of pilots for a new entry-level agri-environment scheme, the formation of English Farming and Food Partnerships, the Food Chain Centre and the Red Meat Industry Forum to improve competitiveness and greater collaboration within the food chain, a new network of pilot demonstration farms, and good progress on Assured Food Standards and the Red Tractor logo.

The group has also backed the Defra-led public sector food procurement initiative. The Implementation Group consists of ten independent members representing a wide range of stakeholder interests. From January 2004, Ed Mayo replaces Anna Bradley as National Consumer Council representative, and Dame Yve Buckland of the Health Development Agency becomes a full member, with particular responsibility for the Consumer Health Needs Workstream, which includes the Food And Health Action Plan, led by the Department of Health.

The chairman of the Implementation Group, Sir Don Curry said:

"2004 is going to be a year of anticipation and preparation for the impact of CAP reform in 2005. The groups work over the next 12 months will focus on ensuring the farming and food industry is equipped to face the challenge and encouraging all stakeholders to engage in delivering the strategy"

The members of the Implementation Group in 2004 will be:
  • Sir Donald Curry - Chairman
  • Dame Yve Buckland - Health Development Agency
  • Sir Peter Davis - Sainsbury's
  • Sylvia Jay - Food and Drink Federation
  • Richard Macdonald - National Farmers' Union
  • Ed Mayo - National Consumer Council
  • Jeremy Pope - South West Regional Development Agency
  • Rosemary Radcliffe - Economist and Complaints Commissioner
  • Christine Tacon - Farmcare
  • Graham Wynne - Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Source: Defra - 12th January 2004

5m Editor