The RSA Food Farming and Countryside Commission has been established to help shape the future of our food and farming systems, rural communities and countryside in a post-Brexit world.
As citizens, we all have skin in this game. The Commission will build upon the wealth of experience and activity taking place across the UK in relation to food, farming and the countryside, and actively engage with citizens and their communities, hands-on producers, industry leaders, academic and third-sector experts, regulators, government departments and devolved administrations.
We’ll also involve people who are not often accounted for in conversations around these issues, such as dispersed rural communities who want a say in their futures, producers who want a fair return for their work, urban dwellers experiencing food poverty, and those whose food is procured for them, in hospitals, schools, prisons and other institutions.
Food, farming and the countryside make up a deeply connected and interdependent system in which we all have a stake. Citizens will be at the heart of the Commission process. Through deliberative participation and engaging existing expertise, the Commission will be able to ask, and answer, the difficult questions that need to be addressed.
Our work programme builds on the RSA’s track record of combining cutting edge research and critical enquiry, with rigorous and creative citizen and community engagement. We will work with partners around England and in the devolved countries, to make practical progress on important issues, as well as to help build system-wide capacity for learning and adaption in these fast-moving and disruptive times.
This approach will enable the Commission to establish a compelling mandate for change across our food system, farming sector and in rural communities; to shape a long term vision for the future, that’s fairer, stands the test of time and aligns more closely with changing public values and expectations; and to propose solutions to achieve the vision, identifying where communities and businesses can take a lead and where a national policy framework is required.
And beyond the life of the Commission, we want the benefits to continue to be felt by communities, businesses and civil society, as a result of the policy changes that it will bring about, the regional initiatives it facilitates, and the increased public awareness, dialogue and behaviour change it inspires.