What’s in part one of the UK’s National Food Strategy?

The UK has recently published part one of its National Food Strategy – an independent review that will inform government decision making for the next 75 years.
calendar icon 31 July 2020
clock icon 5 minute read

According to NFU President Minette Batters, who was part of the National Food Strategy Advisory Panel, the strategy calls for the adoption of a statutory duty. This would give Parliament the opportunity to fully scrutinise any new trade deals, as opposed to the existing regime where legislators can ascent to deals without comment.

The report, which was led by restaurateur Henry Dimbleby, includes three recommendations to improve the diets of school children. Namely, expanding free school meal programmes to every child from a household on Universal Credit, expanding the Holiday Activity and Food Programme to all areas of England. This would ensure that summer holiday support is available to all children who receive free school meals. The report also recommends increasing the value of Healthy Start vouchers to £4.25 per week if the parent or guardian of the child receives Universal Credit. The strategy also proposes expanding coverage to pregnant women and households with children under the age of four.

“The NFU welcomes [the] publication of the first stage of the National Food Strategy, which urges quick action on health, supporting the young and vulnerable and upholding our food values and standards.

“British farmers and growers stand ready to play their part in helping to ensure everyone in society has access to an enjoyable, sustainable and healthy balanced diet. For example, the nation needs to eat more healthy foods, and we can grow more fruit and vegetables right here in the UK.

“We welcome the recommendation that future trade deals are subjected to parliamentary scrutiny. The NFU is working with government as part of the newly established Trade and Agriculture Commission to ensure British farming standards are not undermined by any ambition to open up British markets to food which would be illegal to produce here, and that UK farmers can access new markets and become global leaders in climate friendly food.

“We look forward to working with the National Food Strategy team further ahead of part two being published next year.”

Part Two of the strategy is due to be published in 2021 and will include a root and branch examination of the food system and the economics that shape it.

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