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New food strategy addresses diet, health & sustainability


Salt and sugar tax, greater regulation of food chains, action on children’s food insecurity and increasing access to fruit and vegetables are among recommendations in the National Food Strategy welcomed by the Food Foundation.

The Strategy has been published today following an independent review led by Defra Non-Executive Director Henry Dimbleby with the aim of addressing challenges around public diet and health, as well as food sustainability, security and trade.

The UK government has committed to responding to the Strategy with a White Paper within six months and, while its focus is on England, Dimbleby is hopeful the Strategy’s recommendations will also be adopted by the devolved governments of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

According to the Food Foundation, a charity supporting a more sustainable food system making healthy diets affordable and accessible for all people, the Strategy makes a crystal-clear case for the need for Government intervention.

“As the Food Foundation has said from its inception, the challenges cannot be solved with piece meal one off initiatives but require deep systemic change,” said Laura Sandys CBE, chair of the Food Foundation.

“We were very pleased that our Executive Director, Anna Taylor OBE was able to contribute so fully, working with Henry Dimbleby and the team over the last few years on. The strategy, having highlighted the problem and developed the solutions, now needs to be acted upon and we will be continuing our campaigning for system change.”

In his Strategy introduction, Dimbleby says: ‘The food system we have now has evolved over many years. It won’t be easy to reshape it. But time is not on our side. The effects of climate change are already becoming apparent around the world.

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‘Diet-related disease is putting an intolerable strain on our nation’s health and finances – and Covid-19 has only increased the pressure. For our own health, and that of our planet, we must act now.’