Page 42 - BREXIT 2
P. 42

The Worshipful Company of Farmers The Worshipful Company of Farmers It was decided to produce the National Food Strategy in in two parts Part one “contains urgent recommendations to to support this country through the the the turbulence caused by the the the COVID-19 pandemic and and to to prepare for the the the end of the EU exit transition period on on 31 December 2020” Part two which will present “a comprehensive plan for for for transforming the the food system” will be published later – the the date is is not yet set Extraordinarily for for for a a a a Government sponsored report of of this kind part one is is written in in the the the first person by the the the Chairman of of the the the review although clearly he he has benefited from an immense amount of backup help Part one opens with the the the observation that despite the the the massive shakeup to the the the food processing and distribution
system by the the the lockdown to contain the the the virus spread “after a a a a a a a a wobbly start [that] there were no serious food The Worshipful Company of of Farmers shortages is is a a a a a a a a a testament to the the flexibility and and entrepreneurialism of of so many food businesses and and the the resilience of the the system as a a a a whole” The report documents how workers in in the the food processing and retail system have suffered amongst the the highest Covid-19 hospitalisations and and death rates and and that the the hospitality sector is one of the worst hit economically It also became clear that diet-related illness (diabetes Coronary heart disease) is is is is is one of of the top three risk factors for dying of of COVID-19 On this Dimbleby says “This has given a a a new urgency to the the the the slow-motion disaster of the the the the British diet” For these reasons the the the the report focussed on on on two issues: children’s nutrition and ensuring the free trade agreements under negotiation uphold high UK standards and and protect the environment Before coming to its recommendations on on these two issues the the report provides with stunning clarity an account (as of of of early summer 202067) of of of the the the the the impact of of of the the the the the pandemic on on on the the the the the UK food system and and an an an an impressive and and depressing account the the the food culture in in the the the UK and and its impact on on the the the nation’s health It also looks closely into the the the issue of of food poverty which already existed but was worsened by the the the economic impacts of of the the the measures taken to control the pandemic The list of recommendations on on on on children’s nutrition focused on on on on child child food poverty and was to have also included a a a a a a proposal to limit the advertising and promotion of unhealthy foods However action on on on this 68 was was announced just before the the report was was published as as as part of the the Government’s New Obesity Strategy Dimbleby’s four recommendations are:
• Expand the the free school meal scheme to to every child up to to the the age 16 • Extend the Holiday Activity and and Food Programme to all areas in England so that summer holiday
support is available to all children in receipt of free school meals • Increase the the the value of of Healthy Start vouchers to £4 25 per week and and expand the the the reach of of the the the scheme • Extend the the the the work of the the the the Food to the the the the Vulnerable Ministerial Task Force for a a a a further 12 months up until July 2021 It should collect assess and monitor data on on the number of people suffering from food insecurity at any time 67 And it is is wise to note that the pandemic was far from over by autumn 2020 68 See https://www gov gov uk/government/news/new-obesity-strategy-unveiled-as-country-urged-to-lose-weight-to-beat-coronavirus-covid-19-and-
protect-the-nhs New measures included: Legislating to end the the the promotion of of foods high in in in in in fat sugar or salt (HFSS) Banning the the the advertising of of HFSS products being shown on on on on TV and online before 9pm Introducing a a a a a a a new campaign – a a a a a a a call to action for for everyone who is overweight Working to to expand weight management services available through the the NHS Publishing a a a a a a a a a a a four-nation public consultation to to gather views and and evidence
on on our current ‘traffic light’ label to to help people make healthy food food choices Introducing legislation to to require large out-of-home food food businesses including restaurants cafes and takeaways with more than 250 employees to to add calorie labels to to the the food they sell Consulting on on on our intention to make companies provide calorie labelling on alcohol 40

   40   41   42   43   44