National Farmers’ Union (NFU) president Minette Batters has said that the National Food Strategy should act as “a wake-up call for us all that we need to value the food we eat”.

The report, which was published today (July 15), sets out recommendations for the government on how it should procced with future food strategies.

Some of the recommendations put forward in the report is the introduction of a sugar and salt reformulation tax along with using revenue generated from this tax to fund fruit and vegetables for low-income families.

Batters said:

“We need to put balance back in our diet and have a renewed emphasis on eating natural, whole foods; the kind British farmers produce in abundance.

I agree that we should be supporting everyone to eat more fruit and veg, something our farmers can support by growing more, and there should be more focus on educating our children about valuing and understanding the food they eat and how it has been produced.

“However, it is important that we do not throw meat into one blanket category and that we all make a clear distinction between grass-fed British meat and cheap imports.”

Suitability of British meat

Batters continued:

“We should be considering British meat in its own category, recognising its sustainability and dense nutritional value.

“After all, scientific and medical communities agree it is a key part of a healthy, balanced diet, chock full of essential vitamins and minerals.

This strategy says major reform is needed of the food system. I would suggest we first look at the actions our government is taking by agreeing to trade deals that welcomes in imported meat in limitless amounts.

“This underlines the importance of domestic, high-quality, traceable food production for the nation’s health and wellbeing and the importance of demonstrating global leadership in this area.

“This is only something we can do if we all get behind a viable British farming industry.

“It will never be achieved by exporting our food production more and more to countries which don’t adhere to the same values or production methods.”