The National Food Strategy is launched today, and calls on the Government to commit to a historic package of reforms in order to build a better food system for a healthier nation.
In a landmark report, food entrepreneur Henry Dimbleby sets out how poor diets contribute to around 64,000 deaths every year in England alone and cost the economy an estimated £74 billion. He warns that our eating habits are destroying the environment, which in turn threatens our food security. The food we eat accounts for around a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, and is the leading cause of biodiversity destruction.
LEAP Co-Director, Professor Susan Jebb, who is also the newly appointed Chair of the Food Standards Agency says:
The National Food Strategy report deserves to be widely read and deeply considered by everyone with responsibilities for any part of our food system. Its compelling narrative focuses attention on the urgent challenges facing the food system and how we must work together, across government and industry, to create a system which is good for the health of people and the planet.
LEAP Co-Director, and Director of the Oxford Martin School, Professor Sir Charles Godfray says:
The National Food Strategy proposed by Henry Dimbleby and his team is an important document that clearly outlines the challenges for England in developing a food system that is both good for our health and good for the environment. It does not shy away from difficult topics such as meat consumption, trade rules and the need to take some land out of agriculture if we are to meet our climate change and nature commitments. It cleverly outlines a mixed vision of British agriculture incorporating the best of conventional agriculture as well as organic and other approaches. The report is based on careful and quantitative analyses. There is a lot here, and everyone will want to debate specific conclusions and recommendations, but overall this is an impressive report that proposes concrete measures to improve the food system in England.