Supported by its 80 members, Sustainable Food Places wrote to the new Government outlining how food partnerships and plans are integral to supporting our communities, farmers and food businesses while addressing the cost of living crisis.
The open letter follows on from food policy developments across the UK nations which are putting the spotlight on the work of food partnerships.
In Scotland, the world-leading Good Food Nation Bill will create links between policy at the national and local levels, with Government, local authorities and health boards all creating good food nation plans. Those plans will set out clear outcomes, indicators, and policies across a range of areas relating to food including the environment, health and the economy.
In Wales, a private members Bill was tabled to ‘establish a more sustainable food system in Wales to strengthen food security, improve Wales’s socioeconomic well-being, and enhance consumer choice’ and is undergoing public consultation. It will put a duty on Welsh Ministers to produce a Food Strategy, to establish a Wales Food Commission and for local authorities and other public services to develop community food plans to strengthen public procurement. The Welsh Minister of Social Justice has also announced £3 million of Welsh Government funding to support the development of cross-sector food partnerships in response to the cost of living crisis.
In England, the Government Food Strategy includes a recognition of the value of food partnerships and Sustainable Food Places is asking Government to act on that recognition and initiate the process of “learn[ing] from their approaches and work to understand and identify best practice in addressing food affordability and accessibility to healthy food. As part of our levelling up mission to narrow the gap in healthy life expectancy, government will identify the areas most in need of this insight, and Defra will work with local authorities and food charities in these priority areas.”
The open letter to Secretaries of State follows a day of celebration and action in Westminster in July calling for support and recognition of food partnerships in a cost of living crisis.
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