MHA | Take a more measured view on Food Strategy

Take a more measured view on Food Strategy

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor  June 29th 2022
Food Strategy 5773 1656521886

Our Partner, Mark Lumsdon-Taylor recently published an open letter in the Spring edition of the South East Farmer, in response to the Government's Food Strategy. Read Mark's letter below:

Dear sir,

Your readers will no doubt be aware of the publication of the Government’s Food Strategy for England and the criticism it immediately attracted, mainly from those who felt some of the proposals from Henry Dimbleby aimed at promoting healthier eating and environmental improvements had been rejected or watered down.

I feel, though, that the sector needs to take a more measured view. Although the loss of some proposals is to be regretted, critics would do well to recognise that the Government had to take account of recent events.
The strategy sensibly prioritises domestic food production. As Russia strangles the world’s grain supply, this was undoubtedly the correct approach. As the strategy states: “Successful domestic production is what gives us national resilience in an uncertain world.”

While this focus may have seen environmental priorities taking more of a back seat than expected, Russia’s continued invasion of Ukraine and blockade of the Black Sea have forced the Government’s hand.
The strategy still sets out a vision to maintain the current level of domestic food production while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the environmental impacts of the food system, in line with net zero commitments and biodiversity targets. 

This ambition shows the government is still trying to bring together the twin goals of food-security and environmental sustainability. It has become a more difficult balance to achieve recently but not an impossible one.
Another hugely positive aim of the strategy is to place sustainable food production at the heart of education and learning. This has been far too long in coming. We pay less for our food than previous generations but we appreciate it less. This needs to change.

Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, 

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