On the publication of Eating Better's 2018-19 impact report, Eating Better Chair - Carol McKenna, has said:
This year has been a turning point in the discussion about the need to change the way we eat and produce our food for the health of our planet. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published ‘Global Warming of 1.5 ºC,’ setting the backdrop to the 10 years we have to avoid dangerous levels of global warming. Addressing diets and land use are critical to reducing global heating and helping to address the biodiversity crisis.
The authoritative Eat Lancet Commission published its findings in 2019 bringing together health and sustainability into a reference diet for the first time. The results of the extensive modelling point to a need for a transition to low meat and dairy diets to free up land and feed more people as the population increases.
This year we’ve welcomed evidence of changing public attitudes and retailer responses to the growth in demand for plant-based options. One indicator is plant based product launches which soared to one fifth of all retail food new product development. Tesco’s Wicked Kitchen range is among its most successful launches ever.
While public awareness of livestock’s environmental impact is growing, people don’t always feel able to act upon this. Creating the right food environment with greater options so people can act on their increased understanding is incredibly important.
Our Better by Half: roadmap to less and better was launched to support people to eat better, mapping 24 actions to be taken by the 5 most influential sectors. This will create an enabling environment to drive calls for halving meat and dairy consumption in the UK by 2030, and for a transition to ‘better’ meat and dairy.
We will support alliance organisations and others to deliver against the actions set out in the roadmap over the next year.
Changes in diets will need to be matched by changes in production. The UK Government has committed to net zero UK carbon emissions by 2050. The RSA Food, Farming and Countryside Commission highlighted many of the excellent examples of leadership by British farmers, for health and environmental stewardship.
So, from commitment to action is where we need to move. Eating Better welcomed Michael Gove’s announcement of the development of a new National Food Strategy. This will be led by Henry Dimbleby and offers a real opportunity to bring a joined up approach across food and farming in government.
It’s a complex challenge and Eating Better is central to bringing together different perspectives. We welcomed 10 new supporting organisations to Eating Better, they bring with them exceptional experience in farming and health. The alliance is broader and more diverse than ever, providing a trusted space to navigate complex issues and provide solutions. Our messaging and positions develop common ground for the alliance. Alliance organisations have told us that we support them to be more confident in their own messaging, raise awareness of less and better, build common ground and provide thought leadership.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people we have worked with over the last year, including alliance members, trustees, staff and our main funder – the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
Look at the impact report, here.