Part 2 of The UK’s National Food Strategy Published

Sandwich Inside Plastic Food Container

On 15 July 2021, The UK Government published The National Food Strategy Part 2. The report is written by Henry Dimbleby with input from a team of advisers, leaders and experts. Part 1 of The National Food Strategy was published at the end of July 2020. The report makes 14 recommendations to the UK Government to consider and implement accordingly.

Some of the 14 recommendations are as follows:

  • Introduce a sugar and salt reformulation tax, using some of the revenue from this tax to help get fresh fruit and vegetables to low income families.
  • Introduce mandatory reporting for large food companies on food waste and sales of: high sugar, fat, or salt products excluding alcohol; protein by type and origin; fruit and veg; fibre, saturated fat, sugar and salt; total food and drink.
  • Invest £1bn in innovation to create a better food system.

The report has provoked reactions from the food industry and from government authorities in the UK. The Food Standards Agency’s Chair- Susan Jebb, welcomed the report including its recommendations, with the aim to expand the role of the FSA.

The Chief Scientific Officer- Kate Halliwell from the UK’s largest Food and Drink Association- The FDF, responded to the report on behalf of the UK Food Industry, that Food and Drink Manufacturers welcome the intent to bring forward measures that will increase accessibility and affordability for food and drink for children and families on lower incomes, however she noted that the salt and sugar tax will have huge implications for lower income families who are already struggling to make ends meet, these taxes will make food and drink more expensive.

Food businesses already have tight cost pressures and margins, any further costs would simply be passed down to the consumer in the form of a higher food price. She also noted that taxes will not drive reformation and that food and drink manufacturers have already been voluntarily lowering fat, salt and sugar in recipes for decades, as well as reducing portion sizes.

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