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Farmers and food producers urged to speak up in ‘radical shake-up’ of food industry

Under the plans, Defra said British shoppers would be able to buy environmentally friendly, healthy and affordable food and that no idea was ‘too big or small’.

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Farmers and food producers urged to speak up in ‘radical shake-up’ of food industry

Consumers, farmers and food producers have been urged to give their thoughts on how the UK produces, sells and consumes food in plans for a radical shake-up of the food industry.

 

Under the plans, Defra said British shoppers would be able to buy environmentally friendly, healthy and affordable food and that no idea was ‘too big or small’.

 

Businesses, academics and NGOs have also been asked for their feedback, which will form the first major look at the food system in almost 75 years.

 

Led by entrepreneur Henry Dimbleby, the government said it wanted to ensure the food industry was fit for the future, supported growth, enhanced the environment and was resilient to the challenges posed by climate change.

 

Mr Dimbleby said: “We are launching the call for evidence to gather insights and inspiration to help transform our food system.


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“These could be policies or ideas that make it easier for us to make more informed decisions about the food we eat; that make food production more environmentally sustainable; that help food businesses and communities to thrive; or that could put our country at the forefront of innovation in the coming years.

 

“Whether you are someone who works in a food business, a farmer, a food processor, an interested citizen – whoever you are – we want to hear from you.”

 

The National Food Strategy independent review, which was officially launched in June, will last for a year and consider what changes are needed to ensure the UK’s food industry delivers safe, healthy and affordable food; is robust in the face of future shocks; and restores and enhances the natural environment for the next generation.

 

Reshape

Defra said it also wanted to ensure the industry was ‘built upon a resilient and sustainable agriculture sector’ and was a thriving contributor to urban and rural economies.

 

Defra Secretary Theresa Villiers added: “As we leave the EU and seek to capitalise on the opportunities this can provide for the UK’s farmers and food producers, we have the chance to reshape our food system from farm to fork to ensure it is ready to deal with these 21st century pressures.

 

“We should not underplay the importance of the food we eat for our environment, our health and our society, and I encourage people to share their views on the way ahead.”

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