Part two of the National Food Strategy was released on the 15 July, this landmark and independent report is calling on the Government to ‘commit to an historic package of reforms in order to build a better food system for a healthier nation’.
The report outlines why now is the time for action to be taken to protect the future of our people and our planet, acknowledging that whilst the recommendations may be met with some resistance, change is essential and that business as usual is just not an option.
There has been a swell of positive reaction to the report, including from Prof Bob Doherty, Academic Director of the FixOurFood programme who said ‘The programme welcomes the new National Food Strategy. It’s excellent to see the food systems approach applied to a range of measures and interventions across the food system and we support the recommendation of a Good Food Bill. It’s also very important to see food production and manufacturing linked to dietary and planetary health. We particularly welcome the levy on unhealthy foods and the use of the tax to improve access to fruit and vegetables for low income families. We also support the suggested investments in food system innovation and regenerative agriculture. In particular we value the focus on children’s’ health and diets, school education, the Holiday Activities Food programme, the extension of the eligibility for free school meals and the new government procurement standards to promote sustainable healthy diets and the community eat well programme’.
The report suggests five key goals for the food system of the future, it must:
- make us well instead of sick
- be resilient enough to withstand global shocks
- help to restore nature and halt climate change so that we hand on a healthier planet to our children
- nourish our souls as well as our bodies
- meet the standards the public expect, particularly on animal welfare
To meet these goals the following key objectives were recommended:
- Escape the Junk Food Cycle and protect the NHS
- Reduce diet-related inequality
- Make the best use of our land
- Create a long term shift in our food culture
The report acknowledges that significant change with be required to our national diet and to the way we grow our food, and whilst the proposals are not without major financial implications, especially in the short term, a healthier nation will result in a stronger and more resilient economy in the long term.
‘The food system of the future must make us well instead of sick, be resilient enough to withstand global shocks, and help to restore nature and halt climate change so that we hand on a healthier planet to our children.’
You can read the full report here.