Government Food Strategy – our response and analysis

An image of Minette Batters pictured in her office

The Government Food Strategy follows the independent review of the food system carried out by Henry Dimbleby in 2021. Read our response and analysis, and find out about the huge press and social media interest in this important story for farming.

Mr Dimbleby's review set out an analysis of the challenges facing the food system.

Read our response to the review here: NFU responds to National Food Strategy (July 2021)

Government policy initiatives

The Government Food Strategy now sets out the government's policy initiatives taking into consideration the more recent challenges posed by the war in Ukraine and the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global economy.

Read the paper published on 13 June 2022 in full on the Defra website: Government Food Strategy

NFU President Minette Batters said: “The strategy represents a clear milestone. The government is recognising the importance of domestic food production, maintaining our productive capacity and growing more food in this country, particularly at a time when the war in Ukraine has focused attention on the importance and fragility of our global food security. Food production will always be core to a nation’s resilience and I’m pleased the government has recognised this.

“Domestic food production and environmental delivery go hand-in-hand and we are proud that British farmers have an ambition to reach net zero by 2040, while still maintaining our current levels of food production.

"Food production will always be core to a nation’s resilience and I’m pleased the government has recognised this."
NFU President Minette Batters

“We know the public want to be eating more local, British food and farmers are ready to play their part in producing high quality and climate-friendly food, all while protecting and enhancing our environment. We now need to see this strategy develop into clear delivery and investment to capitalise on the benefits food and farming delivers for the country, such as our world-leading standards of animal welfare, environmental protection and food safety.”

No detail

Mr Dimbleby says that the policy document launched today was not detailed enough to be called a strategy, though had implemented more than 50% of the recommendations he highlighted.

He had called on ministers to ensure that the budget payments for farmers to deliver environmental benefits, such as preventing floods and improving soils was guaranteed until at least 2029. 

Media interest – how we responded

There has been a huge amount of press interest in the publication of the government’s national food strategy this week.

The NFU out of hours press service helped ensure the organisation was front and centre of coverage across the national broadcasters and newspapers.

A busy weekend saw our press team take dozens of calls, answering queries from journalists, and setting up interviews for NFU President Minette Batters who has been the central voice in the farming industry’s response.

Week commencing 13 June 2022

On TV, Minette was interviewed live on Sky News, BBC Breakfast (from 1:02), Channel 4 News (from 10:07), ITV News and BBC News where she highlighted the importance of the strategy.

Minette also spoke to a variety of radio stations including LBC (from 1:31), Times Radio (from 1:25), and BBC Radio 4’s PM programme (from 16:40).

Interviewed live on Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show (from 12:00) on Monday, Minette said there were still a number of questions to be answered.

Meanwhile, speaking to presenter Colin Murray on BBC Radio 5 Live (from 04:26), Minette said it was important to boost the country's self-sufficiency.

As well as appearing on TV and radio, Minette also spoke to and was quoted in many of the national newspapers, including the Observer, Telegraph, Sunday Times, The Times, Financial Times, Sunday Express, Independent, City AM, Metro, BBC News online, Politico, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail and Bloomberg.

NFU Deputy President Tom Bradshaw was also interviewed – he appeared live on LBC (from 2:08:30), where he discussed the strategy’s positive recognition of the importance of food security and highlighted the need for government to deliver on the policies.

2022 Government Food Strategy – our analysis

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