CIEH Leadership Programme
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Wednesday, 29 July 2020, Ellie Whitlock, Policy and Public Affairs Executive, CIEH
This interim report focuses on the key areas of food poverty and trade. Strategies to tackle obesity and promote healthy eating are also included but these have already been taken up in the Government’s Obesity Strategy which was published earlier this week. We have summarised the main recommendations for you below.
Trade, standards and sovereignty
On trade, standards and sovereignty, the report recommends the Government should only cut tariffs on products which meet the UK’s core standards. This falls short of enshrining standards in law, and a dual tariff system would mean that imports of products that are currently banned would be permitted to enter the UK. However, there are also suggestions for greater parliamentary scrutiny of trade deals and for an independent commission to assess the impacts of trade agreements, including on food safety, public health and the environment.
The National Food Strategy recommends:
At CIEH, we are continuing to campaign to prevent imports of food and agricultural products that do not meet the UK’s high standards from entering the UK. Along with 26 organisations and academics, we have written to the major retailers and food service companies to ask them to commit to not selling products of lower standards. So far, we have had responses from Aldi, Waitrose, Asda, Coop and Lidl, and a series of supermarket leaders have come out publicly to say they will not stock products that would breach current UK standards.
Food insecurity and disadvantaged children
To support disadvantaged children, the strategy includes a number of recommendations which aim to tackle food poverty and ensure that all children have access to nutritious food.
The National Food Strategy urges the Government to:
Healthy eating and obesity
The report had also planned to make recommendations on banning promotion of foods high in fat, sugar or salt (HFSS) and on banning advertisements of HFSS products being shown on TV and online before 21.00. But the Government was one step ahead and has incorporated these policies into its new strategy to tackle obesity.
The National Food Strategy welcomed the Government’s commitments to:
The Government’s Obesity Strategy sets out a number of other measures, including: