Knowledge for better food systems

The UK’s National Food Strategy - Part One

Part One of the UK’s National Food Strategy has now been published. The National Food Strategy is a major review of the food system, leading to new policy recommendations (read about its launch here). Part One contains recommendations for supporting the UK’s food system (focusing on England) through the COVID-19 pandemic as well as advice on preparing for the end of the EU Exit transition period (31 December 2020).

The recommendations fall into two main categories:

  1. Ensuring that disadvantaged children receive adequate nutrition. Specifically, to expand eligibility for free school meals, provide support over the holidays to children in receipt of free school meals, increase the value of Healthy Start vouchers and expand the scheme, and extend the work of the Food to the Vulnerable Ministerial Task Force for another year to monitor food insecurity.
  2. Deciding what sort of trade deals and food standards the UK wishes to pursue outside of the European Union. Specifically, only cut tariffs on imports of products that meet a set of core food standards (covering animal welfare, environmental and climate concerns, as a minimum), commission and publish an independent report on any proposed trade agreements, and allow Parliament to scrutinise any new trade deal.

The report also contains arguments as to why the advertising and promotion of unhealthy foods should be limited. The UK government has recently announced policies in line with these recommendations.

Read the full report, National Food Strategy Part One, here. See also the Foodsource chapter What can be done to shift eating patterns in healthier, more sustainable directions? Read other COVID-19 content in the FCRN’s research library here

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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