A new food strategy for Britain?

Henry Dimbleby’s proposals for a National Food Strategy were published in two parts in July 2020 and July 2021 – but now the government rejects most of the recommendations.

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News and comment on the government’s food strategy out today:

This strategy sets out what we will do to create a more prosperous agri-food sector that delivers healthier, more sustainable and affordable diets for all. Government food strategy – GOV.UK

The PM today refused to impose a junk food tax, recommended by Leon-founder. Defending the move in Cornwall today, he said the tax would push up food prices. And Mr Johnson said the best way for Britons to lose weight is to ‘eat less’ Boris Johnson says the best way to lose weight ‘is to eat less’ and rules out new taxes on junk food | Daily Mail Online

The food strategy puts a focus on home-grown food, including strengthening supply chains and boosting food production.

  • £270 million will be invested in technology to increase productivity and profitability
  • The government will consult on an ambition for 50% of public sector food spend to go on food produced locally or certified to higher standard
  • A framework will be published next year on how to help farmers grow more food while also meeting legally-binding targets to halt climate change and nature loss.

Restaurateur Henry Dimbleby said the policy document was not detailed enough to be called a strategy. The government’s own adviser on food told the BBC: “They’ve now implemented more than 50% of what I recommended, but it hasn’t been done with one vision across the whole system.” Food strategy criticised by government’s own adviser – BBC News

The Government Food Strategy has avoided backing ‘bold, evidence-based recommendations’ in Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy that would have significantly improved the UK food system – a ‘shambolic’ decision, pressure groups claim.

Dimbleby recommendations in brief

Henry Dimbleby’s proposals for a National Food Strategy were published in two parts in July 2020 and July 2021. Part 1​​ dealt with the importance of giving all the public equal access to affordable healthy food and prioritising UK food standards in any free trade agreement with another nation. Part 2​​ explored these areas further as well as detailing ways to enhance and maintain food security and improve the environmental impact of the supply chain. Government food strategy: key points

A major policy paper fails to address big health and environmental issues it was supposed to tackle, such as how to enable the diet changes needed to reach net zero. England food strategy ducks big questions on health and environment | New Scientist

Government’s vision for food industry is ‘not a strategy’, Leon founder Henry Dimbleby says. Mr Dimbleby had pushed for more action on obesity, greater environment and welfare standards in farming, and the expansion of free school meals. Government’s vision for food industry is ‘not a strategy’, Leon founder Henry Dimbleby says | UK News | Sky News

Analysis: Two years ago the PM promised a ‘war on fat’ – but there’s little of substance in this can-kicking document Defra plan shows no stomach for bold action on food poverty and obesity | Health policy | The Guardian

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has criticised a leaked draft of the government food strategy which has been described as “worse than half-baked” by critics. Farmers union criticises leaked government food strategy

Here, edie rounds up the key pieces of reaction to the Food Strategy, with an emphasis on its environmental aspects. ‘A feeble to-do list’: Environmental groups and agriculture sector react to UK Government’s Food Strategy – edie

   
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