By Jonny M.
WalshThe UK is looking to use NHS powers which give it the power to force businesses to produce more food and drink than they would normally do, under a new law that will come into effect next month.
But many are concerned about the impact the new law will have on workers and farmers.
What the law is aboutThe new law would allow for a “co-operative arrangement” whereby businesses would have to provide food and water for workers in a co-operative and give them the same amount of money as they would receive from the NHS.
It will allow for the sharing of profits, with those profits shared equally between the co-operatives.
The legislation will also see an increase in the amount of cash a worker could receive on a daily basis.
However, many farmers and food co-ops will not agree to co-operation and are worried about the potential impact on their ability to pay their workers and their own food bills.
Food and drink co-op farmers have already called for the government to clarify that co-ordination is only for the benefit of farmers and workers.
Many have also called for a full review of the law to see if it should be expanded or scrapped.
The UK government says it is taking the law seriously and has “further work to do” on its implementation.
But the food and farm sector have welcomed the changes, and said they are “not only welcome, but necessary”.
The UK has a population of more than 1.2 billion, with over 400,000 food cooperatives, according to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
The UK was the third biggest producer of food in the world in 2015, according the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Food and farm co-ords are crucial to the UK’s economy, with a food and farming economy accounting for 7% of GDP, according data from the World Bank.
The government says the cooperative arrangements will “protect people from the costs and costs of co-production” and “give more value to those who earn money from the production of food and feed”.
However, it also wants to make sure the cooperators get their fair share of the profits, to ensure there is “more value for the UK economy” and more “value for consumers”.
“The UK will continue to be a leading market for food and agriculture products, but will have to consider the impact of the new co-operated arrangements on our rural economies,” said the government.