UK’s future food strategy must not go for cheap food at any price, says Fairtrade Foundation

The Fairtrade Foundation welcomes the release of the National Food Strategy part 1 report and is calling on the government to deliver a future food strategy that offers real change by supporting resilient supply chains for sustainable development and climate action.

“We have a chance to make a real difference to people and the planet, and we must take  it,” said Alice Lucas, advocacy & policy manager at Fairtrade Foundation.

 “The impact of COVID-19 has shown how fragile food supply chains are, and continues to have a widespread impact on farmers and workers in the global south who produce some of the UK’s staple foods, such as bananas and cocoa, on top of existing issues including poverty wages and the climate crisis.

“With 10-15% of the UK’s overseas imports coming from Asia, Africa and Latin America, the pandemic  has shown how the health and livelihoods of farmers and workers growing our food across the world are vital to help us withstand future shocks, especially from climate change,” Lucas added.

“Many Fairtrade certified co-operatives have shown resilience through the first months of COVID and therefore acting to ensure sustainable and decent livelihoods for the farmers and workers in the global south is vital, not only to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and commitment to poverty reduction, but to future proof UK food security and resilience against future climate shocks or pandemics.

“The report rightly calls for independent scrutiny of future trade deals, and for these to be assessed by their impact on the environment, human rights and society. This kind of scrutiny will help our trade policy work as hard as possible for our future food security.

“We look forward to continuing to engage as part of the National Food Strategy ahead of part 2 of the report next year,” she said.