There is more for government to do to join dots between food, health, farming, trade and environment
13th June 2022
FFCC Chief Executive Sue Pritchard has responded to DEFRA's Food Strategy, published today.
She said, "There are elements of the governments’ Food Strategy to be welcomed – including more support for farmers to move to regenerative practices, investing in British grown horticulture, supporting local food enterprises, strengthening public procurement, and adopting a land use framework. Yet it also reveals the government’s unwillingness to deal with under-regulated markets, risking the planet and citizens’ long term health and wellbeing.
"Affordability is a critical issue, but a short-term focus on food prices alone is simply stacking up more problems for government. As Adam Smith himself argued, big corporations need clear boundaries to stop them externalising the real cost of their business model. Without boundaries, governments subsidise those businesses in other ways – health care, environmental clean-up, benefits for low paid workers - all of which taxpayers have to fund. This is the opposite of levelling up – those corporations both hoover up profits and drain the government coffers, taking away money that could be used to invest in a more sustainable food system.
"Responsible food businesses and citizens want the same thing. For governments to use their powers to legislate and regulate sensibly, to level the playing field for fairer, more sustainable food and farming. There is more for this government to do, to join up all the dots between food and health, farming and the environment, food security and progressive trade. They must continue to build on the extensive evidence in the Dimbleby report (and others) to do this, for citizens and for the planet."