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Response to Dimbleby Report

The Government Food Strategy – the long-awaited response to Henry Dimbleby’s independent review of the UK food system from 2018 – has finally been published.

The 33-page document details three overarching food strategy objectives and a list of ambitions: food security and sustainable production; healthier and sustainable eating; and the UK as part of a global food system.

Under the first objective, some of the tangible outcomes should include: the ‘Sustainable Farming Incentive’ for farmers; the publication in 2023 of a ‘Land Use Framework’ which will reflect the objectives for the environment and net zero and will address land use in England; £270 million to spend across farming innovation programmes; a ‘What Works Centre’, developed by AHDB, where best practice across industry can be shared; and the launch in 2023 of the Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture that will complement the What Works Centre.

The second objective is also packed with good intentions. To note, the forthcoming publication of the Health Disparities White Paper, led by DHSC, which, in addition to setting further measures to address obesity and highlight the need for more research in the area of ‘ultra-processed foods’, will also include details of the “Food Data Transparency Partnership”.

The aim of the latter, a joint government -food industry- civil society partnership is to look at the development of consistent and defined metrics to objectively measure the health, environmental sustainability and animal welfare impact of food; it will also address consumer information across the range of metrics such as labels and eco-labels, online information and QR codes. The Government aims to streamline all reporting requirements relating to the production and sale of food and drink by the end of 2023.

Finally, the third objective is about export opportunities for the UK agricultural sector and, among other initiatives, there is also the plan to establish a new Export Council that will bring together industry and government with the aim to boost exports.

UK Flour Millers envisages to get involved where relevant and members will be kept informed of the progress of the above plans.


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