New UK Prime Minister must make food security a priority
September 7, 2022
The Plant-based Food Alliance UK, of which ProVeg UK is a founding member, today called on Liz Truss, the new UK Prime Minister, to ensure that the Government’s Food Strategy is re-written to make it fit for purpose in a century in which climate resilience and food security must become a priority.
“The Government must work to actively encourage people to adopt plant-based diets if we are to successfully tackle the challenges presented by climate change. A first step is to rewrite the Food Strategy White Paper and this time include clear, time-bound targets for reducing meat and dairy consumption,” Marisa Heath, Alliance CEO, said.
The Government’s own climate advisors have already recommended including meat reduction targets of 30% by 2030 in the Food Strategy. But when the White Paper on the strategy was published in June, there was no mention of these measures. Last week, the food NGO, Feedback, announced that it would be taking legal action against the Government for failing to include the targets.
“Setting targets for meat reduction is no longer a radical measure. Institutions from the UN to the Vatican have encouraged eating less meat for the sake of the environment, so there is broad support for this. The UK Government has the chance to lead the way in encouraging a transition to plant-based foods rather than dragging their feet on the issue.” Heath said.
Further, the Alliance said that Truss needed to take steps to provide support to farmers to move away from high emission animal agriculture towards growing alternative proteins such as soy, beans and peas.
“Animal agriculture is responsible for about 20% of all global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, significant amounts of human water usage, and much of the world’s tropical deforestation. The UK needs to take the initiative and lead the way in the shift from animal-based foods to plant-based foods to avoid the prospect of eco-system collapse,” Heath added. “The new Prime Minister can demonstrate real leadership in tackling food security and setting a vision for a sustainable food system for the future.”
The Alliance works at all political levels to level the playing-field for the plant-based sector, seeking to increase availability and uptake of plant-based products through innovation and investment, procurement policies, a favourable regulatory and policy environment, and education.
To contact the Alliance about becoming a member, email [email protected]