NFU responds to Calderdale Council plans to serve plant based food at events

Environment and climate
A photo of NFU Vice President Rachel Hallos

The NFU has responded to Calderdale Council plans to serve only plant based food at events. 

The plans, which are part of the council's Climate Change Emergency policy, have been reported by media outlets including the BBC and Halifax Courier.

In response, NFU Vice President and Calderdale farmer Rachel Hallos has written a letter to the leader and CEO of the council to invite them to meet to discuss their plans for their journey to net zero and the role the farming community can help in achieving this goal.

Rachel also invited them, and their councillors, to visit her farm to look at the work she is doing to enhance the environment and work towards net zero.

In the letter, Rachel questioned the proposal to remove meat and dairy from their menus.

“Many organisations need to consider how they can play their part in our collective climate change challenge, just as farmers like myself across the country are doing,” Rachel wrote. “But banning all red meat and dairy, regardless of where and how it is produced, is too simplistic an approach for such a complex issue.”

Rachel said looking at where, and how, our food is produced can enable us all to lower our carbon footprint, while supporting local farm businesses.

Here in West Yorkshire we are continually improving as we look to meet net zero ambitions and grow crops and rear livestock while looking after the environment.”

NFU Vice President Rachel Hallos

Ambition to drive towards net zero British agriculture

The NFU has previously urged Local Authorities across England and Wales to take positive steps to support local farm businesses by committing to source local and British food as much as possible.

The NFU’s ambition is to drive forward towards net zero British agriculture, and the organisation continues to innovate and work with the UK Government to create a policy environment that supports UK farm businesses to thrive in a carbon neutral future.

Commenting on the council’s plans, NFU Vice President Rachel Hallos said: “It’s great that Calderdale Council have a keen interest in protecting our environment and our farmers share that ambition but removing certain products from our diets misses the point of a sustainable food system.

“What Yorkshire people choose to eat is up to them, but here in the county they can and do choose regional produce from our farms, and as a result they enjoy some of the most sustainable meat and dairy products in the world.

“The independent Climate Change Committee recently showed that British beef and dairy produce half the carbon footprint of the global average and here in West Yorkshire we are continually improving as we look to meet net zero ambitions and grow crops and rear livestock while looking after the environment.

“The NFU has requested to meet with Calderdale Council leaders and West Yorkshire parliamentary candidates to discuss Yorkshire farming and ways we can help safeguard domestic food supplies, support our family farms and keep feeding the county and wider country.”

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