Food

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on food. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
27.10.2016Grouse shooting
Grouse shooting takes place on moorlands managed for the birds. The Government believes that grouse shooting makes a significant economic, social and environmental contribution. However, others are concerned that grouse moor management is leading to environmental damage and the illegal killing of birds of prey. Two public petitions have been launched on this matter, on both sides of the argument. The Petitions Committee took evidence from witnesses on 18 October 2016, and a debate is scheduled for 31 October 2016.
30.08.2016Food Waste: key facts, policy and trends in the UK
A House of Commons Library Briefing including some key food waste facts and trends; an explanation of the impacts of food waste; food waste policy and legislation; information on the UK voluntary initiatives in place to tackle food waste; and a summary of proposals for change.
13.07.2016Sources of social statistics: Agriculture and Fisheries
This introductory guide provides sources of statistics on agriculture and fisheries.
26.05.2016EU Referendum: Impact on UK agriculture policy
Most farming organisations are taking a 'remain' or neutral position ahead of the EU Referendum on the grounds that there is too much uncertainty around a potential UK approach to farming outside the EU and its Common Agricultural Policy. However, others are starting to set out what a new approach to UK agriculture, outside the EU, might look like.
19.04.2016UK Dairy Industry: Current Issues and Challenges
UK dairy farmers continue to highlight their financial difficulties with government as low milk prices remain. Policy action has been taken at EU and UK level to assist and the dairy industry is also seeking to improve its ability to weather future volatility in global markets.
20.01.2016Dairy industry in the UK: Statistics
Key statistics and current trends for the UK dairy industry, including farm-gate prices, UK herd size, production, international trade and domestic consumption.
18.02.2015Religious Slaughter of Animals
Religious slaughter of animals for food without pre-stunning is currently permitted in the UK for Muslim (Halal) and Jewish (Shechita) methods in line with permitted exemptions to EU slaughter regulations which require pre-stunning. In practice, around 80% of halal meat in the UK is from animals that have been pre-stunned. The UK Government has said that it would prefer all animals to be pre-stunned before slaughter on welfare grounds but it observes the rights of religious communities. However, animal welfare groups, including the British Veterinary Association and RSPCA are calling for an end to non-stun slaughter. All parties in the debate would like to see labelling of meat which provides more consumer information on the slaughter methods used.
08.07.2014Worsening humanitarian crisis in Syria and Iraq
The plight of civilians in Syria may be about to get a lot worse, as drought ravages the region, ISIS takes over much of the River Euphrates and government services threaten to collapse.
23.05.2014EU bibliographies: Food safety legislation: review package
This Note brings together documents relevant to the proposals to strengthen and simplify health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain and their scrutiny in the UK and EU, published on 6 May 2013. It is not an attempt to define policy in this area. For information on policy developments contact Emma Downing on extn 6787.
20.05.2014The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition
US President Obama launched the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition at the May 2012 G8 summit at Camp David. It aims to address years of underinvestment in agriculture, and to meet the financing gap for global food security, in order to help pull 50 million people out of chronic poverty over 10 years. Critics of the New Alliance question whether it will help poor farmers. and charge that the New Alliance represents a 'new form of colonialism'. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) supports the scheme and has committed 600 million to it.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
22.04.2016Rural Economy: Key Statistics and Recent Developments
This Lords Library briefing provides key statistics on the rural economy and a summary recent developments.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
19.01.2016Intellectual Property and Plants
This POSTnote considers the different intellectual property rights approaches available to plant breeders.
12.06.2015Novel Food Production
Food production systems worldwide may have to adapt radically to meet the rising global demand for food. Emerging approaches in the food sector include controlled-environment farming, alternative animal feeds, edible insects, and lab-cultured meat. This POSTnote considers these new technologies and summarises their respective advantages and limitations.
22.08.2014Phosphate Resources
World food security is dependent on phosphate fertilisers manufactured from finite deposits of phosphate ore. The majority of remaining reserves are restricted to a limited number of countries raising geopolitical risks. This POSTnote describes the uses of phosphate and summarises ways in which dependence on mineral reserves could be reduced.
15.06.2012GM in Agricultural Development
Almost 2 billion people suffer from chronic hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. The UK funds research into genetic modification (GM) as one option for agricultural development. This POSTnote examines the potential benefits and challenges of using genetically modified crops to improve food security in developing countries.
15.05.2012Bioenergy
Bioenergy is the use of renewable natural material for power, heat and liquid fuels. Currently, the UK sources approximately 3% of its primary energy from bioenergy feedstocks. This POSTnote considers the opportunities and challenges of producing bioenergy sustainably to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets.
15.03.2012Livestock Super Farms
This POSTnote examines the current issues surrounding intensification of livestock production in the UK.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
08.11.2011Subsidiarity assessment: distribution of food products to deprived persons.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
19.07.2011Draft Groceries Code Adjudicator Bill.
Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee report [Commons]
27.10.2010Subsidiarity assessment: distribution of food products to deprived persons.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
15.12.2009Nanotechnologies and Food.
Science and Technology Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
14.10.2009Securing food supplies up to 2050.
Government response. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
07.02.2012TAX ON ADDED SUGAR
That this House is concerned that one in five students leaving primary school are now obese and that consumption of sugar has tripled worldwide over the past 50 years; notes that obesity ...
16.01.2012KELLOGGS AND FOODBANK
That this House congratulates Kelloggs for its support of foodbanks around the UK; notes that in 2011, Kelloggs supported foodbanks across the UK with 25 tonnes of food, equating to ...
13.12.2011HOUSE OF COMMONS CHEFS
That this House congratulates the House of Commons chefs' football team on successfully retaining The State Opening Challenge Cup after a hard fought 2-2 draw against hon. Members on15 ...
07.12.2011DAIRY COUNCIL'S CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTMAS CHEESES 2011
That this House congratulates the Dairy Council in staging the 2011 Ceremony of the Christmas Cheeses, which forms the beginning of the Chelsea Pensioners' traditional Christmas celebrations; ...
05.12.2011COUNTRYSIDE ALLIANCE REPORT ON MANDATORY COUNTRY OF ORIGIN LABELLING
That this House welcomes the Countryside Alliance Foundations's report, Honest, Fair, Simple, which calls for mandatory country of origin labelling of all meat products where meat constitutes ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses