A healthy nation depends on a healthy environment and healthy food. The BNP envisages a strong, healthy agriculture sector and vibrant farming communities as essential to the nations’ well-being.
Whilst we support low consumer prices, there will be an emphasis on quality and self-sufficiency and, where feasible, the decreased reliance on petrochemical products.
We are deeply sceptical of the merits of GM crops and shall place a moratorium on their further development. We shall also ban their import into the UK.
The BDP’s Agricultural Priorities
– CAP subsidies shall be phased out, following our withdrawal from the EU, and replaced, initially, with the British system of subsidy that existed prior to 1973.
The New Zealand experience will be studied closely. We will work towards increases in food quality, from a nutritional viewpoint, and environmentally sustainable rural communities.
– We shall carefully examine the introduction of pilot schemes and training facilities designed to reverse the long-term shift into giant, mono-cultural agribusinesses and landholdings.
– Graduated inheritance tax will be applied to exceptionally large acreages, where presently none exists, but this will also relate to the quality of the land involved. Our ideal is to restore family farms in place of agribusiness.
– Mindful of the effect that BSE and Foot and Mouth disease had upon the farming community, we shall introduce incentives to encourage a new generation of young farmers.
– Where feasible, we shall make use of National Service to transform the South East of England in particular.
– We favour the establishment of sustainable, mixed agriculture based upon family farms employing high technology and sound husbandry.
– We favour healthier and sustainable organic farming.
– Local farms will be used to supply nearby schools and hospitals with fresh produce.
– Urgent research will be conducted into the potential benefits of a massive soil reinvigoration scheme, carried out with National Service labour.
– The work of the Countryside Restoration Trust will be supported, publicised and promulgated.
– We shall eliminate unhealthy, energy intensive, cruel factory farming of livestock.
– We shall outlaw the cruel ritual slaughter of animals, following the example of Switzerland.
– We shall introduce legislation to encourage the formation of producer co-operatives, to enable their bargaining power with the multiples.
– Where necessary, we shall strengthen the supermarket ombudsman, to ensure a fair deal for producers.
The BDP’s Fishing Policy Priorities
– We shall restore Britain’s fishing industry (which contains the majority of Europe’s fish) and re-impose the former 200 mile exclusion zones around our coast, in line with international law. The Royal Navy will enforce our territorial limits.
– Given the plundering of Britain’s fishing zones in recent decades, we recognise that a degree of conservation may initially be necessary.
– We shall fund urgent research into the environmentally disastrous river, loch and estuary fish farms with a view to proposing constructive solutions.