What does Brexit mean for eating better?
Eating Better is one of 85 organisations that have written to Prime Minister Theresa May and new Secretary of State for exiting the European Union, David Davis, urging the Brexit Government to take control of food, farming and fisheries for public good.
The impact that the EU referendum will have for our food and farming is hugely uncertain.
With many of the UK’s food and farming policies and subsidies being defined at EU level, the UK government now has an opportunity to reshape these to ensure that taxpayers money is spent for public good. In the letter, organisations representing the health and long-term interests of millions of British citizens have called on government to adopt common-sense food, farming and fishing policies that are good for jobs, health and the environment, when they plan the UK’s post-referendum strategy.
The letter, coordinated by Eating Better partner organisation, Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming, has been co-signed by over 80 food, farming, fair trade, poverty, animal welfare, wildlife and environmental organisations.
Our joint statement points out that better food, farming and trade policies can help to cut greenhouse gas emissions from farming and food industries by 80% by 2050, and promote healthier diets to combat heart disease, cancers, diabetes and obesity, saving the NHS, and ultimately taxpayers millions. Such policies can also support a vibrant and diverse economy, supporting good jobs and working conditions, in the UK and overseas. Further, the UK could prioritise ethical and sustainable production methods, improved animal welfare, more farmland and marine wildlife, a healthy future for bees and other pollinators, as well as enhancing the beauty of the countryside and protecting the environment, whilst also providing a safe and traceable food supply.
“The British public has given no mandate for a reduction in food and farming standards, a weakening of protection for nature, nor a reversal of the UK’s commitment to lifting millions of the poorest people in the world out of poverty through trade. We are seriously concerned that such vital considerations may be over-run by a drive for new trade deals at any cost.” says Kath Dalmeny, head of Sustain.
The signatory organisations also ask David Davis MP to ensure that the advice the new unit provides to Government is drawn up in consultation with people with science, health and sustainability expertise in relation to food, farming and fishing, alongside economic concerns. Further, the signatory organisations urge that food, farming and fishing make up one of the Options Papers being developed by the unit, to advise the PM and the Government.