The government has today announced the package of measures contained in the National Food Strategy. Developed over the last three years, this long-awaited publication sets out the long term plans to be implemented across the farm-to-fork supply chain.
Due to recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, the strategy now also discusses the cost-of-living and food security crises we are now dealing with as a consequence of these circumstances.
It is crucial that the government drives innovation and works closely with industry to create stability in the farm-to-fork supply chain going into 2023.
More details on the contents included in the paper are being released this week. Some of the policies already announced include aiming for 50% of public sector food spend to go on food produced locally or certified to higher standards, new data transparency legislation and publishing a framework for land use in England in 2023.
Commenting on the launch of the strategy, CLA President, Mark Tufnell, said: “It is encouraging to see that the National Food Strategy has a significant focus on the agricultural sector. New data transparency measures, the aim for 50% of public sector food spend to be from local producers or certified to higher standards, funding priorities for horticulture, regenerative farming and alternative proteins are some of the long-term examples of steps in the right direction. However, it’s not clear how any of this is going to be implemented, in addition to not knowing details of the various funding required at this stage.
Knowing that the government will need to work closely with the industry to deliver these commitments, Mark concluded by saying: “There are issues which must be tackled in the short term, however. Domestic food security, fairness in the supply chain and workforce issues are key areas which need to be addressed immediately. The additional visas for the Seasonal Workers Visa Route are welcome, however it is crucial that the government drives innovation and works closely with industry to create stability in the farm-to-fork supply chain going into 2023.”