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Innovation in EU agriculture: House of Lords Committee wants your views

28 July 2010

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An inquiry into Innovation in EU Agriculture has been launched today by the House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Farming and invites contributions from across the agricultural, food production, retail, environmental and research sectors.

The closing date for written evidence is 24 September 2010.  The Committee will begin to take oral evidence from witnesses in the autumn with a view to reporting before next summer.

The aim of the inquiry is to identify how innovation in EU agriculture can be best supported, particularly at a time when factors such as population increase and climate change have greatly impacted the scale of the challenges facing agriculture in the UK, Europe and globally.

The Committee's chairman, Lord Carter of Coles, said:

“Innovation can refer to specific examples of new technologies, such as biotechnology, information technology and new machinery; much simpler business processes, such as the decision to plant a new crop, alteration to a label or a change in the terms used to market a product; and more generic processes by which ideas are conceived, developed and deployed throughout the agricultural sector.  Against this background, we have a number of issues that we want to explore with the help of contributions from interested parties.”

The Committee will be considering:

  • how far agriculture is innovating today
  • what the obstacles to innovation are
  • what challenges are likely to drive innovation in the future
  • the key players and structures needed to support innovation in EU agriculture
  • how the Common Agricultural Policy and EU Research Programme can help to resolve the issues identified