The UK Government has at last released its food strategy policy paper (Government food strategy - GOV.UK) in response to the proposals made by in Henry Dimbleby in his National Food Strategy (‘NFS’). This sets out the Government's policy initiatives to boost public health, sustainability and food security.
The paper states that the Government’s key objectives are to deliver: (i) a prosperous agri-food and seafood sector by encouraging innovation and increasing the skilled workforce, (ii) a sustainable, ‘nature-positive’ affordable food system to support healthier diets for all, and (ii) export opportunities, and consumer choice via imports whilst maintaining existing regulatory standards.
At first glance, the strategy appears to have been formulated as an offshoot to the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, rather than the dynamic overhaul envisioned by the NFS – most notably, no mention is made of the ‘salt and sugar tax’ proposed by Dimbleby. Whilst many of the aims of the policy paper appear notional rather than practical, it does signpost a potential change in mandatory food labelling and reporting requirements in relation to sustainability, health, animal welfare and country of origin. It also indicates increased responsibility for food businesses that provide catering services to schools.
We will report on these points in more detail in the coming days.
Government food strategy This strategy sets out what we will do to create a more prosperous agri-food sector that delivers healthier, more sustainable and affordable diets for all.