Manifesto ask: Securing a long-term government food strategy

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National Food Strategy

Delivery of a comprehensive food strategy should remain a strategic priority for government. This must be a policy that delivers for everyone – from a fair deal for food producers to families and consumers across the country, whatever their income. Safe, traceable, affordable food that is produced to high standards of animal welfare and environmental protection is a right for all of us and the UK’s farmers should be the number one supplier.

UK consumers expect their food to be safe and produced with integrity, but these characteristics are not universally available around the world. A National Food Strategy should establish a food commission to protect the food we consume and our high production and food safety standards.

Public procurement

As we leave the EU, government should ensure that it is supporting our farmers by buying British in all its public procurement. Our schools, hospitals and local authorities should be sourcing food produced to British quality standards, such as Red Tractor, as a first resort, ensuring public funds are invested in supporting the regulatory and production standards farmers and growers deliver. The next government can achieve this by making buying British a mandatory element of all Crown commercial service contracts for food.

An education system which supports farming

The NFU’s Education programme has demonstrated that farming and food production is an effective way of teaching STEM subjects with positive outcomes for both pupils and teachers. Embedding farming into the national curriculum would deliver further learning outcomes for schools as well as enabling the next generation to have the opportunity to learn about the British environment, our food provenance and the science of food production and preparation. We also want to work to develop skills in our sector through technical education. We support work placements in the farming and food sector, working in collaboration with organisations such as the National Land Based College and the Agri-Skills Forum.

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