Greer, A. print (2008) Agricultural policy. In: Woods, M. print, ed. (2008) New Labour’s Countryside: Rural Policy in Britain since 1997. Bristol: The Policy Press, pp. 149-165. ISBN 978-1861349323
Publisher's URL: http://www.policypress.co.uk/display.asp?k=9781861...
The agricultural policy of the New Labour governments has been central in their approach to governing the countryside. This is highlighted in the rhetoric of multifunctional agriculture, which stresses the central contribution that farmers make to the delivery of a wide range of policy objectives – not only in food production but also in rural development, environmental sustainability, animal welfare and food quality. This chapter analyses the agricultural policy of New Labour governments after 1997. The agenda was dominated by old and new problems (for example BSE and avian influenza), recurring issues (the stagnation of agricultural incomes), the pursuit of longstanding policy commitments at the international level (radical reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and greater liberalization of world trade), and organizational reform (the creation of DEFRA and the impact of devolution). The agriculture sector also highlights central themes in the New Labour approach to the modernization of the policy process, encapsulated in a 1999 Cabinet Office Report that set out nine core principles of modern policy making such as joined-up governance, evidence-based policy, learning from experience and other countries, and consultation with stakeholders.
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