Knowledge for better food systems

National Food Strategy launched

The UK government has announced a year-long review of the food system, which will lead to a new National Food Strategy for England. As well as consulting experts and people working through the supply chain, the review process will include a Citizen’s Assembly (a form of sortition), where a representative set of randomly selected people will listen to the evidence, debate it and make suggestions for next steps.

According to the Terms of Reference, the National Food Strategy should aim to make the food system:

  • Deliver safe, healthy and affordable food to everyone
  • Be resilient to future shocks
  • Protect the natural environment
  • Have a resilient, sustainable and humane agriculture sector
  • Contribute to both urban and rural economies
  • Be efficient and cost-effective.

Similar work is underway in Scotland as part of the Good Food Nation policy.

See some media reactions here:

Anna Taylor, executive director UK NGO the Food Foundation said (source) “Today’s pledge to develop a ground-breaking new National Food Strategy will send a signal to the world that our food system needs radical reform in order to reign [sic] in its devastating impacts on our health and our planet.”

Minette Batters, president of the UK’s National Farmers’ Union, said (source) “I am very pleased to see that the government is taking food production seriously and putting plans in place for a national food strategy – this review is long overdue. It is crucial that this strategy delivers for everyone – from food producers to families across the country, regardless of their income.”

Read the government’s announcement here and view the National Food Strategy website here. See also the Foodsource chapter Impacts of climatic and environmental change on food systems.

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