On the publication of Eating Better's 2019-20 impact report: Build back better, Eating Better’s Chair - Carol McKenna, has said:
This year food systems suffered their biggest shock in many of our lifetimes. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the fragilities of a food system focused almost exclusively on efficiency and price. We must seize opportunities to build back better and transform our food system. Our Better by half: roadmap has been recognised as a blueprint for action to build back in a more sustainable way. But we must pick up the pace to achieve our aim of a 50% reduction in meat and dairy consumption and move to ‘better’ for the remainder. The Eating Better alliance has identified 5 roadmap actions to focus on this year.
Retailers, food service and the public are showing an appetite for reducing meat production and consumption, but the Government has so far been found wanting. We look forward to the next National Food Strategy report, which we hope will lay out a path to a greener and healthier food system. We were encouraged by the call from the Committee on Climate Change for all Government departments to ensure procurement strategies are consistent with the UK’s climate objectives. And the inclusion of the recommendation of ‘some, just less, meat’ in the Climate Assembly report is positive and shows an appetite for dietary change.
Our impact report looks at our first youth survey of 11 to 18-year olds, our latest retail survey and our insight on We need to talk about chicken to show that change is happening and the pace is picking up. Government and food businesses should take note that the people who will be shaping voting and shopping habits for years to come are showing an interest in reducing meat consumption and see the environment and climate change as a top priority.
The coming year will bring new and concerning challenges, including potential trade deals and Government responses to calls for a green recovery, but there are many reasons to be hopeful. We look forward to continuing to support public sector caterers as they deliver on their announcement of a 20% reduction in meat. We also plan to continue to grow and strengthen our alliance and to work with current alliance organisations, from farming groups to public health experts and environmentalists to animal welfare organisations, on a range of exciting initiatives.