Consultation seeks views on radical shake-up of UK food

The call for evidence aims to gather insights to help transform the UK's food system
The call for evidence aims to gather insights to help transform the UK's food system

The government is launching a call for evidence giving the public and farmers an opportunity to help radically change how UK food is produced, sold and consumed.

Their views will inform the first major review of the nation’s food system in nearly 75 years, led by entrepreneur Henry Dimbleby.

It has been launched to ensure the food industry supports growth, enhances the environment and is resilient to the challenges posed by climate change.

The review will look at what is working well already and the role of new technology to revolutionise the food supply – from innovations like vertical farming and robotics, to carbon neutral manufacturing and crops that tackle climate change.

The outcome aims to ensure that British consumers will be able to buy environmentally friendly, healthy and affordable food.

Defra Secretary Theresa Villiers said the UK is under increasing threats from climate change, loss of biodiversity and the need to deliver safe and affordable food.

“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.

“So I am delighted to launch this call for evidence to build on the excellent work Henry Dimbleby has already done on this important review.

“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,” she said.

The review may include plans to make it easier for the public to make more informed decisions about the food that is consumed, or an idea that makes food production more environmentally sustainable.

These findings will inform the government’s new National Food Strategy to be published next year.