With one year to go before the next general election, Sir James Paice MP (Conservative), Huw Irranca-Davies MP (Labour) and David Heath MP (Liberal Democrat) will outline the policies and approach they believe the next government should take to support productive agriculture in the UK and to meet the challenges of food security in the coming decades. The panellists will then debate their points and respond to questions from an audience which will include a range of opinion formers, journalists, representatives from the food and farming industries and other stakeholders.
Nick von Westenholz, CEO of the CPA said:
"We are delighted that the panel are able to join us to discuss this crucially important issue and welcome the opportunity to debate the policies and approach each of the three main parties should take in Government as we enter the run up to the next election.
"There is now widespread recognition of the scale of the global food security challenge. The world's population is set to exceed 9 billion by 2050, and with farmland, water and energy resources in limited supply, we must find new ways to produce more food from less.
"In recent years UK politicians seem to have grasped the scale of this challenge and in turn the importance of supporting productive agriculture and increasing yields. However, it's all too apparent that their European colleagues have yet to appreciate the role their continent must play in optimising agricultural productivity. We see this most vividly in crop protection with the myriad threats to the availability of crucial products.
"It is vital that the next UK Government, whatever its political make-up, maintains a science-based, rational and balanced approach, and vigorously promotes the same with other EU member states and institutions.
"It will be interesting to hear the policy actions the panel recommend to support a sustainable increase in agricultural productivity. I am sure they will be put under close scrutiny by those attending the event, and I look forward to what promises to be a lively and informative debate."