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Government Food Strategy to back farmers, spread jobs and grow economy

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Crate of freshly picked apples and orchard in the background

There has been widespread coverage of the Government’s Food Strategy, including in the Times, Telegraph, Daily Mail and Sky News. Interviews with the Prime Minister, Environment Secretary and Minister Prentis were carried across broadcast, such as the BBC, ITV, Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5 and several regional outlets.

The Food Strategy will drive innovation and harness pioneering technology in farming, increase domestic production, spread jobs and grow the economy. In light of the consequences of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine for the global economy, which has caused knock on imports for food supplies as well as spikes in prices, the Strategy also sets out the importance of maintaining and boosting our food security, including plans to strengthen the resilience of our supply chains and increase domestic production to help protect against future economic shocks.

The Strategy follows the independent review of the food system by Henry Dimbleby last year, which set out an analysis of the challenges facing the food system. Our Government Food Strategy responds to these findings and recommendations, accepting the majority of recommendations, with policy initiatives to improve health, sustainability, accessibility of diet to secure food supply, while also recognising the shared global challenges of the war in Ukraine and the impact of the pandemic on the global economy.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

Our Food Strategy sets out a blueprint for how we will back farmers, boost British industry and help protect people against the impacts of future economic shocks by safeguarding our food security.

Harnessing new technologies and innovation, we will grow and eat more of our own food - unlocking jobs across the country and growing the economy, which in turn will ultimately help to reduce pressure on prices.

Environment Secretary George Eustice said:

The food industry is bigger than the automotive and aerospace industries combined, offering employment opportunities, apprenticeships and investment in research and development.

The strategy we are setting out today will increase the focus on skills in the food sector, and the roles and career pathways available. In particular, we will seek to boost our horticulture industry and ensure the expertise needed to develop the sector here in the UK.

The strategy also includes plans to:

  • Invest £270 million across farming innovation funding programmes until 2029
  • Create a new professional body for the farming and growing industry to step up professional training and develop clear career pathways, equipping people and businesses with the skills needed to run sustainable and profitable businesses
  • Consult on an ambition for 50% of public sector expenditure on food procurement to be on food either produced locally or to higher standards
  • Incentivise the sector to use surplus heat and CO2 from industrial processes, and renewable sources of energy to increase domestic horticultural production
  • Review the planning permission process to support new developments of glasshouses
  • Launch an independent review to tackle labour shortages in the food supply chain, to look at the roles of automation, domestic labour and migration to ensure UK businesses can access the labour they require
  • Consult on how to improve on and expand animal welfare labelling, to help consumers identify when products meet or exceed our high UK animal welfare standards
  • Extend the Seasonal Workers visa route to poultry, following a successful pilot last year
  • Publish a framework for land use in England next year
  • Consult on food waste reporting for larger businesses over a certain size
  • Publish a statement setting out requirements for those wishing to access the UK market to objectively demonstrate they deliver an equivalent level of health protection to our high domestic standards
  • Explore how to make the most of innovative feed additives that can reduce methane emissions from livestock, to support sustainable farming
  • Launch a new partnership between the public and private sector to provide consumers with more information about the food they eat while incentivising industry to produce healthier, more ethical and sustainable goods

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  1. Comment by John W. Baxter posted on

    Always glad to hear the big positive headlines, but disappointing when it comes to the detail......we need to be a nation of pro action and not reaction which we always seem to could be said that at times we are so far behind we think we are ahead.
    We have some very talented people in the agribusiness which consecutive governments have chosen allowed to be sold off in the past so when it comes to security of food supply we can whistle in the wind if the new owners choose to exercise their outward looking supply chains for their profits and leave us dangling on promises. Shame!.

  2. Comment by Jean Hanson posted on

    What about households growing your own? Encouraging Councils to fund more Allotments, and provide funding for community gardens. Educate our young people on how simple it is to save food miles

  3. Comment by Mo Hutchison posted on

    And lets forget about about the environment and global warming and the recommendation to reduce meat consumption by 30%

    • Replies to Mo Hutchison>

      Comment by Bethan Jones posted on

      Farming doesn't just produce meat - there are vegetables and all the many crops that make up a huge part of everyones' diet, regardless of your dietary choices. It is actually imperative that as a small island nation we are self sufficient. Absolutely this should be done mindfully and with the wider biome at the heart of it. The environment is the responsibility of every single human being, not just food produces and agriculture. We all need to take steps to reduce our impact on the planet, be it in the way we eat, how we choose to travel, how much we buy - ie spend on items for our homes etc, after all the production of all our 'stuff' has a huge impact on the planet, what clothes and shoes we buy and the quantities, how we maintain the spaces around our homes etc etc.
      Its a whole population, whole life approach not the responsibility of one industry. We all have the power to change things.

  4. Comment by Jane Clement posted on

    sounds promising, but then this government is good at promising things