Rural Collaborate Policy

Via its Rural Knowledge Hub, the RAU is well placed to provide a unique and collaborative contribution to the strategic insight needed to deal with the policy challenges currently facing Government and Industry. The objective is to use the hubs ‘thought leadership’ position to assist UK agriculture in meeting future problems and recognising opportunities, acting as a bridge between Science, Practice and Policy.

The RAU specialises in the following key interrelated areas:

  • Land Management
  • Rural policy
  • The application of emerging Agritech
  • Agribusiness & Rural Enterprise
  • Agri-food supply chain
  • Agricultural ecology
  • Agri-food policy

The policy initiatives included in this programme are:

  1. Annual Policy Summits: Using open innovation principles and methodologies, these summits look at cross-cutting themes and the delivery mechanism of translating policy in practice.
  2. Bi-monthly Leader Insight sessions: We facilitate high-level strategic Knowledge Exchange, running open and closed sessions for sector leaders to meet. These stimulating and sector-themed insights will inform both upstream into thought leadership activity and directly downstream into professional training, innovation support and enterprise acceleration.
  3. Policy Support Service: In addition to the above, the RAU offers a policy development and brokerage service, using an independent consultancy service delivering specific projects in collaboration with others.

Influencing UK Agricultural Policy: National Animal Welfare Strategy Workshop 21 February, 2018 in collaboration with the University of Bristol.

UK agriculture’s outstanding reputation for quality plays an important role in enabling us to compete successfully on the world stage. We are international leaders in environmental protection, food safety and in standards of production and animal welfare. This is the time for UK agriculture’s leadership to express its commitment to protecting and promoting our brand.

A national animal welfare strategy provides a business opportunity to promote UK-produced livestock products at home and abroad. It offers the possibility of a genuine collaboration between government, industry and civil society organisations in developing this strategy.

An RAU / University of Bristol policy workshop was held on 21 February, 2018 which included over 50 representatives from government, industry, civil society organisations, academia and producers. The participants identified that a national animal welfare strategy should be: outcome-based, meaningful, flexible, comprehensive, effective, transparent, collaborative, rewarding, positively incentivised, inclusive, achievable, evidence-based, progressive, animal-focused, prominent and sustainable.

The outcome document summarises the initial discussions and ideas on the development of a national animal welfare strategy and illustrates how they relate to DEFRA’s vision of the future for food, farming and the environment post- Brexit. Specifically it is proposed that a coalition of stakeholders should establish a policy initiative focused on supporting a common goal of demonstrating and celebrating a UK claim for higher animal welfare. The initiative could include a robust review of the evidence, facilitating action to maintain the UK’s reputation in animal welfare and celebrating examples. of success. We anticipate the initiative will bring together expertise from science, practice and policy. The initiative could be funded by sponsorship and support from a large number of organisations; government (UK & devolved), industry groups, civil society and research.