Industrial Strategy Highlights Bioeconomy

Overshadowed somewhat by the announcement of the Royal Wedding today, the Government has published the details of its long-awaited Industrial Strategy and associated sector deals.

ADBA has been engaging with the key Government departments to ensure that AD and bioresources industry are recognised in this process and positively, the Strategy contains several exciting opportunities to engage with this flagship Government project. Included below is a summary of the key policy announcements relevant to the sector.

Circular Economy Plan

The economy exists within the natural world, and cannot be separated from it. Energy and materials are essential contributions to the production of goods and services, and a healthy society depends on a healthy environment. The Natural Capital Committee has advised that carefully planned and targeted investments in natural capital – such as woodland planting, peatland restoration and wetland creation – can deliver significant economic growth, and generate returns of up to nine times the costs. The Government warns that  a linear ‘take, make, dispose’ economy risks eroding the natural capital central to long-term economic growth through resource depletion and environmental pollution. They therefore are committed to moving towards a more circular economy – to raising productivity by using resources more efficiently, to increasing resilience by contributing to a healthier environment, and to supporting long-term growth by regenerating our natural capital. Specific measures outlined in the strategy include:

  • an approach to infrastructure investment that aims to regenerate natural capital
  •  raising the resource productivity of businesses, including through the promotion of recycling and strong secondary materials markets where products are designed with efficiency and recyclability in mind;
  • working in partnership with food businesses ‘from farm to fork’, through the Courtauld Commitment to deliver a 20 per cent per capita reduction in food waste by 2025;
  • supporting innovative and highly efficient precision agriculture through the Industrial Strategy programme
  •  ‘Transforming food production, from farm to fork’;  a new Bioeconomy Strategy that will set out a framework for growth in the sector to develop new low carbon bio-based products and processes; and 
  • continually strengthening our policies in line with our national ambitions of zero avoidable waste and a doubling of resource productivity by 2050, including through the 25-year Environment Plan and a new strategy for resources and waste.

Agriculture

The Government commits to put the UK at the forefront of the global move to high-efficiency agriculture Rising global demand for food and water is increasing the need for agriculture that produces more from less. Our new ‘Transforming food production: from farm to fork’ programme will put the UK at the forefront of advanced sustainable agriculture. Over the coming years,as we replace the Common Agricultural Policy, the Government commits to increasing the incentives for investment in sustainable agriculture, helping to grow the markets for innovative technologies and techniques. With powers set to return from the EU, the UK government is in discussions with the devolved administrations over future arrangements.

Research

Ministers pledge to commit a further £725m in a second wave of the Industrial Strategy Challenge programme across the UK to respond to some of the greatest global challenges and opportunities – from climate change to automation. This will bring together world-class UK research with business investment to develop the technologies and industries of the future.

We will be continuing our engagement with officials to ensure the sector is fully involved in these exciting developments, and writing directly to Greg Clark at BEIS and Michael Gove at DEFRA to request meetings to discuss AD’s contribution to the Industrial Strategy in more detail. AD’s role in the Industrial Strategy will be a key theme of the ADBA National Conference 2017, taking place next Thursday (7th December) at One Great George Street in London.

For more detail on these issues please contact jon.harrison@adbioresources.org

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Tags: anaerobic digestion, food waste operators, renewable financial incentives, politics, industrial strategy, sector deal, agriculture, Defra, beis