The NFU said the proposed National Food Strategy must play a pivotal role in supporting British farming’s ability to improve productivity, sustainability and support the nation’s health.
The NFU has been gathering views from its members to form part of its response to a call for evidence from Henry Dimbleby, the businessman appointed by government to start developing the UK’s new food policy.
The NFU’s response covers key asks on the following themes:
- Support the food and agriculture sector to grow and thrive;
- Upholding UK integrity and standards;
- Food and agriculture providing solutions for a sustainable future;
- Ensure the UK operates a fair, competitive and functioning supply chain.
NFU president Minette Batters said: “This review is long overdue, and government must take domestic farming and food production seriously as it puts plans in place for a national strategy. British farmers are critical to our food system and deliver safe, traceable and affordable food for the nation.
“A failure to adopt a meaningful long-term food strategy risks our position as a world leader in affordability, safety and consumer choice, and risks a decline in our capacity to produce sustainable food as a nation.”
Mrs Batters continued: “We need a food policy that delivers for everyone – from food producers to families across the country, whatever their income. Safe, traceable and affordable food that is produced to high standards of animal welfare and environmental protection is a right for all of us and it makes absolute sense that British farmers are the number one supplier of this.”
“Alongside producing food, the strategy must support our farmers to continue to protect and maintain our iconic British countryside; enhance landscapes, benefit soils, water, and air quality, encourage wildlife, and help tackle climate change, by supporting the NFU’s ambition for the industry to become net-zero by 2040.”