Responding to the release of Henry Dimbleby’s National Food Strategy, which will advise the government ahead of its White Paper on the issue, NFU President Minette Batters said:
“This food strategy should act as a wake-up call for us all that we need to value the food we eat. We need to put balance back in our diet and have a renewed emphasis on eating natural, whole foods; the kind British farmers produce in abundance.
“I agree that we should be supporting everyone to eat more fruit and veg, something our farmers can support by growing more, and there should be more focus on educating our children about valuing and understanding the food they eat and how it has been produced.
Recognising the value of British meat
“However, it is important that we do not throw meat into one blanket category and that we all make a clear distinction between grass-fed British meat and cheap imports.
“We should be considering British meat in its own category, recognising its sustainability and dense nutritional value. After all, scientific and medical communities agree it is a key part of a healthy, balanced diet, chock full of essential vitamins and minerals.
Let's focus on food standards
“This strategy says major reform is needed of the food system. I would suggest we first look at the actions our government is taking by agreeing to trade deals that welcomes in imported meat in limitless amounts.
“This underlines the importance of domestic, high-quality, traceable food production for the nation’s health and wellbeing and the importance of demonstrating global leadership in this area. This is only something we can do if we all get behind a viable British farming industry. It will never be achieved by exporting our food production more and more to countries which don’t adhere to the same values or production methods.”