On 27 June, Defra’s Secretary of State commissioned Henry Dimbleby to conduct an independent review to help the government create its first National Food Strategy for 75 years.
Along with many other farms and food businesses, we submitted a response to the public consultation which closed in October.
Our key points included:
- Strengthen local, traceable food systems by ensuring local abattoirs are considered part of the ‘agricultural infrastructure’ of the UK and therefore eligible for future funding and support.
- Ensure sustainable, healthy food is locally accessible to all through the support of small businesses and direct selling such as online orders, farm shops or farmers’ markets.
- Enable consumers to make informed choices by clearly indicating sustainability of food on the label and ensuring labels such as ‘grass-fed’ really mean 100% grass-fed and are properly regulated.
- Pay farmers to adopt more sustainable practices, return to mixed farming and transition away from fossil fuels using renewable energy thatutilises farm wastein order to meet the net zero target and address problems of soil degradation and biodiversity loss.
- Employ the polluter pays principle to discourage damaging farming practices, for example by taxing nitrogen fertiliser and using the money to support systems that rebuild natural soil fertility.
- Ensure recommended diets reflect the productive capacity of sustainable systems. This should include grass-fed meat and dairy.
- Educate consumers to differentiate between intensively produced grain fed meat that is part of the problem and grass-fed meat that is part of the solution for climate change and health.
- Prioritise public procurement of local food.
Click here to read our full response.