Sussex Food Partnerships Welcome National Food Strategy

Media release  

15 July 2021  

Published today, Part Two of the National Food Strategy is the first comprehensive review of the food system in 75 years. It calls for historic reform to the food system to protect the NHS, improve the health of the nation and save the environment. The Strategy’s author Henry Dimbleby calls on the Government to commit to a package of reforms in order to build a better food system for a healthier nation.

The document paints a bleak picture of the UK food system, highlighting how diets contribute to approximately 64,000 deaths every year in England alone costing the economy an estimated £74 billion. Unhealthy food is now cheaper per calorie than healthy food and the vast majority of money spent on food advertising promotes unhealthy ‘junk’ food. There is also a clear correlation between poverty and the density of fast-food outlets with double the number in the poorest neighbourhoods.

The Strategy also warns us that our eating habits are destroying the environment, which in turn threatens our food security. The food we eat accounts for around a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, and is the leading cause of biodiversity destruction, and yet over a quarter of the food grown in the UK is never eaten!

From Worthing to Hastings, Food Partnerships across Sussex welcome the National Food Strategy particularly as it takes a whole systems approach, something they have long advocated for. Issues such as food poverty, obesity, ill health, food security and climate change are all interwoven.

The partnerships call on Government and food businesses to implement the Strategy’s 14 recommendations which include a landmark Sugar and Salt Reformulation Tax, expansion of Free School Meals and a major overhaul of food education.

Director of Brighton and Hove Food Partnership, Vic Borrill said:

“Over the last 2 years we have inputted into the National Food Strategy consultation, and it is great to see many of the ideas and ambitions that we promote featuring across the strategy. Food Partnerships are one of the fasting growing social movements and are driving innovation and best practice on all aspects of healthy and sustainable food. Over 50 UK places now have a food partnership and are achieving impressive results. So, we particularly welcome the recommendation for all local authorities to put in place a food strategy, developed with reference to the National Food Strategy’s goals and metrics and in partnership with the communities they serve.

Brighton and Hove was the first place to establish a food partnership and became the first UK city to win the prestigious Gold Sustainable Food Places award in November 2020. Food partnerships have also been set up in Adur & Worthing, Lewes District, Wealden, Mid Sussex, Eastbourne and Hastings. As well as having their own local focus, the Sussex food partnerships work together on common food issues across the county and share information and good practice.

Share this:

You may also be interested in: