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Upcoming EFRA session: A closer look

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) is gearing up for a significant session on Tuesday 24 October, where Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, and the Department’s Permanent Secretary, Tamara Finkelstein, will be questioned on a range of critical issues under DEFRA’s purview.

Food Security and Inflation

The committee is expected to delve into the intricate challenges surrounding food security, especially in the wake of rising inflation. MPs will seek clarity on DEFRA’s strategies to ensure the availability and affordability of essential food items for all sections of the population.

The role of the UK’s trade agreements in stabilising prices and ensuring a steady supply of food products will also be examined.

Flood Preparedness and Coastal Erosion

With the increasing threat of climate change, EFRA will scrutinise DEFRA’s preparedness to tackle floods and coastal erosion. The MPs will explore the effectiveness of current mitigation strategies, the resilience of infrastructure, and future plans to enhance the country’s adaptive capacities.

Water Sector Issues

Water quality and regulation are set to be central themes of the discussion. The MPs will probe into the enforcement mechanisms to prevent sewage discharges into rivers and coastal areas. The potential impact of these issues on household water bills, public health, and environmental safety will be thoroughly examined.

Nutrient Neutrality and Environmental Protections

The session will also address the balance between nutrient neutrality regulations and housing development plans. MPs will explore how DEFRA plans to ensure that rapid development does not compromise environmental protections and biodiversity.

Agricultural Sector

Agricultural issues, including the implementation of Environmental Land Management schemes and the challenges faced by tenant farmers, will be brought to the forefront. The MPs will seek insights into DEFRA’s plans to mitigate risks from avian flu and other diseases and explore the potential for the vaccination of poultry to enhance biosecurity.


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