Sustainable Food Trust welcomes National Food Strategy

Shoppers call for discount incentive to buy imperfect fruit and vegetables

The Sustainable Food Trust has stated that it welcomes the first part of Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy. The Trust believes Dimbleby rightly points out how Covid-19 has exposed the fault lines of inequality and ill-health in our country. In particular, the Trust says it agrees with the recommended measures to enhance the health of the next generation, including extending free school meals.

However, there is concern is that the current food problems the UK faces will go unfixed – unhealthy diets, obesity and the need for everyone to have access to high quality, nutritious food – without transforming food and farming systems in a more sustainable direction.

Patrick Holden, SFT chief executive said: “We are delighted with this first report, but the time has come for a more radical intervention to create a mandatory global food and farming metric to drive progress on health and nutrition, climate change and nature. Britain has a huge opportunity to lead on this at the upcoming COP26 and UN Food Systems Summit.”

The report was also praised by The Trust for highlighting the dishonesty of current food pricing, which the Trust believes fails to account for damage to the environment and public health. The Sustainable Food Trust’s long-standing work in this area has shown that for every £1 spent on food, another £1 is paid through taxes, insurance and hidden costs to address the negative impacts of intensive food production.

The Trust has announced its support for the recommendations on mandating the recently appointed Trade Commission to ensure that imported food produced to lower welfare or environmental standards would incur tariffs or taxes. The Trust says it is essential that these are set at levels which prevent cheap imported food undermining all the work that has been done over recent decades to improve farm animal welfare and food safety.

The Trust has stated it also believes that the recommendations on trade form the foundation for the UK to provide global leadership in brokering a new international platform for trade in sustainably produced food based on the highest environmental and welfare standards.

Holden added: “The report constitutes an excellent first step in transforming our food systems. Food production and consumption are at the heart of many of the major problems we face as a society. We look forward to Part 2 of the National Food Strategy and hope that Henry Dimbleby and his team will be brave and fully grasp the opportunity they have to set us all on a path to a more sustainable planet and healthy diet.”

Image: Timotea Rodgers

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