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Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN 41996, tabled on 3 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support farmers and workers in the UK’s global agricultural supply chains to help (a) decarbonise production systems and (b) absorb the costs of more sustainable methods of farming.

Answered on

13 September 2021

The UK Government is committed to tackling deforestation and greening agricultural supply chains. We are supporting a broad package of measures to support the transition to sustainable global supply chains and to protect forests and other ecosystems.

We are working with developing country governments to identify how public policies and support to agriculture can be developed or reformed to leverage private investment into more sustainable agriculture; and to support farmers to shift from environmentally harmful practices to more sustainable ones. Together with the Just Rural Transition initiative launched in 2019, and in partnership with the World Bank, we are assisting interested developing countries to analyse their policy options for helping farmers to make this transition. Through the COP26 Sustainable Agriculture campaign, we are mobilising further support to help those countries to develop, test and pilot sustainable approaches. This includes re-orienting investment in research, development and innovation to help farmers access and scale up sustainable technologies and practices.

We are also supporting multilateral organisations to improve climate outcomes in their agricultural programming. This includes providing £150 million to the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s flagship ‘Adaptation for Smallholder Adaptation Programme’ and mainstreaming climate work into the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme.

We are introducing world-leading due diligence legislation through the Environment Bill to tackle illegal deforestation in UK supply chains, and have convened the Forest, Agriculture and Commodity Trade (FACT) Dialogue as part of our COP 26 Presidency. Through the FACT dialogue we are working with other producer and consumer governments to develop a shared roadmap of actions to protect forests and other ecosystems while promoting sustainable development and trade.