Farming News - Public to have their say on the food system of the future

Public to have their say on the food system of the future

19 Aug 2019
Frontdesk / Arable / Livestock

British shoppers will be able to buy environmentally friendly, healthy and affordable food under plans for a radical shake-up of the UK’s food industry.

Call for evidence open on National Food Strategy

As one of the first steps, the government has launched a call for evidence, giving everyone from consumers, farmers and food producers, to scientists and academics, an opportunity to shape how we produce, sell and consume food in the UK.

Their views will inform the first major review of the nation’s food system in nearly 75 years, led by entrepreneur Henry Dimbleby, to ensure the food industry is fit for the future, supports growth, enhances the environment and is resilient to the challenges posed by climate change.

The review will look at what is working well already and the role of new technology to revolutionise our food supply – from innovations like vertical farming and robotics, to carbon neutral manufacturing and crops that tackle climate change. No idea is too big or small to be considered.

Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said:

“As well as keeping us alive and healthy, food plays a central role in our culture and our national life. The threats from climate change, loss of biodiversity and the need to deliver safe and affordable food gives rise to new challenges we must address.

“As we leave the EU and seek to capitalise on the opportunities this can provide for the UK’s farmers and food producers, we have the chance to reshape our food system from farm to fork to ensure it is ready to deal with these 21st century pressures.

“So I am delighted to launch this call for evidence to build on the excellent work Henry Dimbleby has already done on this important review. We should not underplay the importance of the food we eat for our environment, our health and our society, and I encourage people to share their views on the way ahead.”

Independent Review Lead Henry Dimbleby said:

“We’re launching the call for evidence today to gather insights and inspiration to help transform our food system. 

“These could be policies or ideas that make it easier for us to make more informed decisions about the food we eat; that make food production more environmentally sustainable;  that help food businesses and communities to thrive; or that could put our country at the forefront of innovation in the coming years.

“Whether you are someone who works in a food business, a farmer, a food processor, an interested citizen – whoever you are – we  want to hear from you. We can’t wait to read your submissions and hear about your ideas.”

The review, which was officially launched in June, will last for a year and consider what changes are needed to ensure our food industry:

  • Delivers safe, healthy, affordable food, regardless of where people live or how much they earn;
  • Is robust in the face of future shocks;
  • Restores and enhances the natural environment for the next generation;
  • Is built upon a resilient and sustainable agriculture sector;
  • Is a thriving contributor to our urban and rural economies, delivering well paid jobs and supporting innovative producers and manufacturers; and
  • Does all of this in an efficient and cost-effective way.

Together these findings will inform the Government’s trailblazing new National Food Strategy, published next year.