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Brexit and agriculture expert addresses External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee

30 May 2018

Image of Terry Marsden

Professor Terry Marsden, Director of Sustainable Places Research Institute, addressed the issue of Brexit and agriculture before the National Assembly for Wales’ External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee on Monday 21 May 2018.

The session was focused on the opportunities and the challenges post-Brexit that we face in the agricultural sector in Wales.

Professor Terry Marsden researches the interdisciplinary social science and applied policy fields of rural geography, rural sociology, environmental sociology, geography and planning. His body of work ranges from original theoretical work in the field, through to empirical analysis and emerging policy impacts and analysis.

His research includes wide ranging work on the socio-economic restructuring of agriculture; theorisations and empirical investigations of rural development; analysis of agri-food chains and networks; and critical commentaries in the emerging fields of environmental sociology and environmental planning.

Addressing the Committee, which is chaired by David Rees AM, Professor Marsden was keen to underscore the importance of taking a proactive approach to developing a policy for rural and agriculture issues in Wales.

Professor Marsden said: “I think it's quite urgent that the Assembly makes progress on developing a bespoke and integrated set of policies between food, agriculture and environment under the auspices of the future generations Act. We're lucky enough in Wales to have the future generations Act, the environment Act, and National Resources Wales, that we've put in place before Brexit. This is a golden opportunity to develop an integrated policy.”

Professor Marsden added: “We've got to be part of what I think is going to be necessary—a UK framework for food, agriculture and environment, and I think we should be pushing in Wales for being very proactive members of a UK framework and an environmental framework that demonstrates the significance of natural resources in Wales for the UK. And that goes for food as well. The food industry in Wales is highly integrated into the rest of the UK, so it would be unrealistic to create a false economic boundary between Wales and the rest of the UK."

The discussion during the session was far-reaching with Committee members’ questions touching on areas including: public health issues; the history of food policy; developing a Welsh food plan; and the challenges and opportunities relating to the divergence of policies.

Sustainable Places Research Institute has an international reputation for delivering relevant, robust, research that is used by policymakers across Wales, the UK and further afield to support evidence-based policy making.

A full transcript of the session can be viewed online.

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