Dear Mr James Duddridge MP
I am shocked to discover the hidden chain linking intensive meat and dairy production in the UK to climate change and the loss of precious wildlife habitats abroad. I want farming to thrive in this country, but it must do so in a sustainable way that does not damage the environment and communities overseas.
The production of soy for animal feed, destined for UK and European markets, has emerged as a major driver of deforestation in South America. This results in:
- an increase in climate-changing gases in the atmosphere – the meat and dairy industry causes 18 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than transport.
- damage to wildlife and the earth’s natural systems which provide us with clean water, healthy soil and air that we can breathe.
- communities being forced from their homes and losing their own farmland and left unable to grow food for their families.
This system isn’t working for UK farmers either. Dependence on imported animal feed means farmers are left vulnerable to volatile commodity prices.
I want to see Government take measures to reduce the damaging effects of intensive meat and dairy production in this country, and reduce our reliance on imported animal feeds.
Please help fix the food chain, and sign Early day Motion 845 to show your support for a more sustainable and thriving farming sector in the UK.
Dear Mr Walker
Thank you for contacting me about Early Day Motion 845 on deforestation for feed crops and climate change.
I understand the concern that has been expressed over the sustainability of imported animal feed, notably soy, which is one of the major sources of protein for livestock. Indeed, the demand for imported feed crops will continue and without it our livestock industry would collapse. As such, we cannot close the door to imports but it is important to ensure that we are not fuelling the degradation and destruction of habitats overseas. Food production should be as sustainable as possible, whatever the source.
Given these concerns, I will not be signing EDM 845, but will instead write to the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs so that he is aware of your concerns. I will of course pass you any response I receive.
Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact me.
James Duddridge MP