National Food Strategy: A Review of the UK's Food System

06 October 2020

The Rothschild Foundation is one of a number of funders who are supporting a year-long review of the UK’s food system, led by Henry Dimbleby. The review will inform the publication of a multi-disciplinary National Food Strategy in the form of a Government White Paper, the first of its kind for 75 years.

The end of July saw the launch of Part One of the National Food Strategy.  It contains urgent recommendations to support the UK through the turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to prepare for the end of the EU Exit transition period at the end of December 2020. Recommendations for Government cover two main themes:

  • Support for our most disadvantaged children, including expanding eligibility for the Free School Meal scheme and increasing the value of Healthy Start vouchers
  • Sovereignty, standards and scrutiny, including agreements to cut tariffs in new trade deals only on products which meet our core standards and adopting a statutory responsibility to commission and publish an independent report on any proposed trade deals

Across its seven recommendations, the report identifies areas where immediate Government action is needed to address those most affected by the cracks in the food system that the pandemic has laid bare. It considers the balance that is needed between maintaining the UK’s high food standards whilst championing free trade in our exit from the EU. The main challenges the food system faces and what the National Food Strategy hopes to achieve are summarised in a short film.

The report represents Part One of a Two-part process which will result in a comprehensive plan for transforming the food system.  Part Two will be published in 2021.