1. The bill explicitly refers to soil health. The previous version of the bill, which fell after the December election was called, implicitly included soil within its list of public goods that the government would support farmers to provide. But the revised bill makes explicit mention of soil health, which has been rising up the political agenda after a concerted campaign by green groups.
2. It makes no binding commitment to uphold food standards. The National Farmers’ Union has joined groups such as Friends of the Earth in calling for the bill to be amended to ban the imports of food produced to standards that would not be allowed in the UK. Farmers fear that work to improve domestic environmental and animal welfare standards could be undermined by cheaper imports produced to lower standards.