The Government food strategy has been unveiled, responding to the National Food Strategy published last year.
The food strategy includes policy initiatives to boost health, sustainability, accessibility of diets and to secure food supply. The aim is to ensure that the food and drink industry contributes to the levelling up agenda and makes the most of post-Brexit opportunities.
The strategy targets three key objectives to support the England agri-food sector. The Government will look to co-ordinate activity across devolved administrations.
To generate a prosperous and resilient agri-food sector that contributes to the levelling-up agenda
- Farmers will be supported to maintain the current level of domestic production over the coming years by improving productivity.
- £390 million has been committed to support innovation across the agri-food sector. The Government will work alongside industry to develop a joint vision for innovation to drive efficiency along the supply chain.
- The Seasonal Workers Scheme will be expanded by 10,000 people in 2022 to ease the short-term labour pressures across the industry. In addition, the Government will commission an independent review to assess quality and issues within the food workforce.
- The Government will work alongside industry to review existing skills programmes and tackle barriers that are preventing the uptake of programmes.
To develop a sustainable and affordable food system that provides healthier diets for consumers
- A Food Data Transparency Partnership will be launched to improve the data available to drive a real transformation in health, animal welfare and environmental outcomes. This will commence with a consultation on mandatory public reporting against health metrics.
- A commitment to publish a land use framework in 2023 to ensure net zero and biodiversity targets are met.
- A programme of randomised control trials will be carried out to better understand interventions that can be used to encourage and enable healthier and more sustainable diets.
- Combined with the levelling up agenda, there will be a number of measures to improve school food provisions and drive healthier lifestyles throughout the school system.
To drive the growth of UK agri-food imports and exports
- Harness the benefits of EU Exit through free trade agreements with the rest of the world.
- Driving agri-food exports by placing agri-food attaches in embassies across the world.
IGD supports the ambition to work with industry to create a more transparent food system. See here for further details.
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