So, what do we really want from food?

Download our summary of findings.

25th September 2023

This report presents FFCC’s summary of findings from the first chapter of The Food Conversation.

Based on extensive public dialogue sessions in Birmingham and Cambridge held over the summer, and a new national poll, the findings show UK citizens across all demographic, age and political groups reject ‘nanny state’ concerns and want the government to do more to fix food.

Citizens want government intervention in the food system and reject excuses
for inaction. This is consistent across all political lines and is reflected in both
the conversations and national polling. Citizens want swift and wide-reaching
action on food to protect health, nature and the environment.

They demand radical change that involves all actors in the system. And their thoughts about the food system tell us a great deal about the society they want – one that is fairer, healthier and greener, with government and business leaders taking the hard decisions that put people and the planet first.

  • A healthier, greener food environment, including restrictions on junk food
    advertising, higher standards for catering in spaces like schools and hospitals, and tighter controls on the availability and marketing of ultra-processed foods (UPFs)
  • Support for farmers to farm more sustainably, going beyond existing policies
    with more investments and incentives to do the right things
  • Taxes and regulations to hold big food businesses to account – such as adopting the polluter pays principle for environmental harm – and to reduce production of unhealthy foods
  • Practical help for citizens to eat more healthily and sustainably – for example,
    the redistribution of revenues from taxes/fines on food companies so those
    on low incomes can afford healthy and sustainable food, better information
    campaigns about the impacts of the food system, and better labelling
  • Visible political leadership when it comes to food, and a plan of action
    that brings together the different parts of government, building on the
    National Food Strategy

The Food Conversation will continue through autumn 2023 and into 2024 across all four UK nations.