APPG’s NEW REPORTS MUST BE A WAKE-UP CALL FOR OUR FOOD SYSTEMS.
Today we published our latest reports as the links between how we produce our food and its effects on the environment and human health have been highlighted by the Covid-19 global pandemic.
Introducing the two-part study our APPG Chair, Steve McCabe MP, said that ‘Emerging Dietary Patterns: Impact on Child Health’ and ‘In the Wake of a Pandemic’ show that what we eat and how it is produced are essential components of our present and future health and wellbeing.
He described the findings (some based on first hand experiences of nutrition during the pandemic) as proof of an urgent need to create a ‘regenerative food system that can deliver environmental, social and economic healing – and leave no one behind.’
The reports were sponsored by Quorn Foods Ltd and Tess Kelly, Sustainable Development Manager said:
A 21st century healthy food system must no longer separate our dietary choices from the impacts on the health of our bodies, societal wellbeing and our environment.
Our Lead Author, Helen Clark, thanked everyone who had contributed to the reports and especially those who had provided first hand experiences of shopping and feeding their families during the pandemic.
She predicted that Covid-19 would either provide a ‘wake up call and a chance to re-shape our entire food system – or we will simply find that we are dining in the last chance saloon, having abandoned the crusade for health and sustainability.’
She praised key recommendations for symbolising a spirit of national ‘renewal’ and called upon the Government to rise to the challenge by means of a new Food and Sustainability Act and a Minister for Food Security to drive action and accountability on British food safety and food justice.
The phrase ‘world-beating has had a bad press recently ,’ she added, ‘but this really IS a once-in a generation chance to reduce the likelihood of future pandemics by removing cheap, low welfare, poor quality and environmentally destructive animal products from the supply chain and the plates of the most vulnerable.
And above all, we must commit as a United Kingdom, to the goal of ending funding for, and the prevention of, further factory farming by 2040 at home and abroad.
I hope that we will now do our utmost to persuade policymakers that this is their chance to make changes now for the sake of the generations to come.
We can but hope that they will grasp the nettle and prove that the UK is ready, willing and able to lead. Exciting times indeed!’Helen Clark, Lead Author