A new report by the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission says that the first part of their National Conversation About Food shows that a vast number of people want to see real change in the way the food system operates in the UK. Over the summer of 2023, public forums were held in Cambridge and Birmingham, along with a new national poll that shows that a big cross section of the population want to see the UK government doing more to solve food problems.
According to the report, citizens want to see more intervention in the food system for the benefit of public health, nature and the environment, and reject excuses for lack of action. The authors of the report state that this is true of every age category and across political divides. The report notes that people are demanding radical change from all actors in the food system, and that this reflects a broader desire for social change and a fairer greener society. As a result of this first stage in the National Conversation the Commission states that the following principles need to be realised:
- A healthier and greener food environment needs to be developed, that includes restrictions on junk food advertising and improvement of food available in schools and hospitals.
- Support for farmers to be able to produce food in a more sustainable way, going beyond current policies and providing further investment.
- Taxes and regulations to keep big food businesses accountable if they pollute, and limits on the amount of unhealthy food produced.
- Practical support for people to help them be able to live healthier on a sustainable diet, such as redistributing taxes on large food producers to help those on a low income buy quality food.
- Visible political leadership when it comes to drafting food policy as well as an action plan that brings the different branches of Government together.
This is the first part of the National Conversation, and there will be further discussion sessions held over the next few months in every country and region of the UK. To read the full report, follow this link.