July 12th 2014 Update
Many thanks to everyone who helped promote the Agroecology (Food Security) Bill to the three MPs we identified (see Update from June 12th 2014). Unfortunately none of them chose to adopt the Bill. Rather they opted for affordable homes (Andrew George), health and social care – safety and quality (Jeremy LeFroy) and simplifying the law on parking on pavements (Martin Horwood).
This means that progress through the House of Commons during this Parliament will be limited to presenting the Bill as a Ten Minute Rule Bill. We will try for this in the autumn.
However, soon after the next General Election (May 2015) there will be another Private Members’ Bill ballot — an opportunity to put the bill to newly elected MPs.
In the immediate future Baroness Miller will attempt to introduce a similar bill as a Private Members’ Bill in the House of Lords and we will keep you posted on progress.
The Bill was calling for wholesale change in how we farm in England and the farming practices we promote in the Global South. We would be grateful if you could remind your MP of the need for Agroecology, and alerting him/her to meetings of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Agroecology.
Please let us know by email if you want to be kept informed of issues that you could raise with your MP or Parliamentary candidate at the next general Election.
June 12th 2014 Update
Andrew George Lib Dem MP for St Ives in Cornwall has come top of the Private Members Bill ballot today.
This is good news as Andrew is a Co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Agroecology (APPG), and they support the Bill. However he will come under pressure from all quarters to adopt other Bills so please write or email to him today (and by the 20th June 2014) to urge him to adopt the Agroecology (Food Security) Bill. A draft letter is provided below and more information on how to contact MPs is available on our Take action page.
There are two other MPs from the APPG in the top 20 drawn and we will also be contacting them. They are Jeremy Lefroy, Conservative MP for Stafford who was 5th and Martin Horwood, Liberal Democat MP for Chelthenham who was drawn 20th.
You can adapt the draft letter below to email or write to them as well.
Draft Letter to selected MPs on the Agroecology (Food Security) Bill
(for MP’s contact details see http://www.theyworkforyou.com/)
Dear Mr George,
Congratulations on coming top of the Private Members Bill ballot on 12th June.
I am writing to you to urge you to adopt the Agroecology (Food Security) Bill. As co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group Agreocology you will know of the group’s support for the Bill.
The Bill is an important step towards more sustainable food production and farming in England because it tackles food security and major environmental issues, such as climate change, marine and water pollution, resource depletion, biodiversity and soil loss. It also promotes local production and strong rural economies, high standards of animal welfare and diversity in cropping. It thus avoids the problems associated with monocultures and intensive livestock and poultry farms.
The science behind agroecology is well established and has widespread scientific support. It is already widely practiced as organic farming, agro forestry and permaculture around the world.
The Bill requires the Government to produce a plan for a transition to agroecological farming, which can feed the population whilst staying within environmental limits, and I request that you adopt it as your Private Members Bill.