Part one of the National Food Strategy has been published (Wednesday 29th July 2020) by Henry Dimbleby, offering recommendations for the future of food policy and trade.
The strategy commissioned by the government in 2019 is the first independent review of the UK’s food policy in nearly 75 years. Its aim is to ensure a food system that is healthy, affordable, sustainable, resilient and productive.
Part one provides ‘urgent recommendations to support this country through the turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to prepare for the end of the EU exit transition period on December 31, 2020’. In particular, the report has criticised the promotion of high-fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) products, including unhealthy multi-buy offers.
A comprehensive plan for transforming the food system will follow in part two.
Recommendations in the report include:
Expand eligibility for the Free School Meal scheme
Extend the Holiday Activity and Food Programme
Increase the value of Healthy Start vouchers
Extend the work of the Food to the Vulnerable Ministerial Task Force for a further 12 months
Government should only agree to cut tariffs in new trade deals on products which meet core UK standards, which should be defined by newly formed Trade and Agriculture Commission
Government should adopt a statutory responsibility to commission and publish an independent report on any proposed trade agreements
A statutory duty should be adopted to give Parliament the time and opportunity to properly scrutinise any new trade deal.