We launched the Better by half: roadmap last year. It sets out 24 actions across 5 sectors. These actions will stimulate a 50% reduction in meat and dairy consumption in the UK by 2030 and support a transition to ‘better’ meat and dairy.
The time is ripe, right now, for action. We have now identified five priority actions for the next year. The need for the change prescribed is growing day by day. The causes of the COVID19 crisis and the attention this has drawn to the fragilities in the food system have only increased this urgency.
Five actions to strengthen our food systems
In the last year Eating Better has been advising the PSC100 Group. The group represents public sector caterers across schools, hospitals, universities, care homes, prisons and the MoD. They have now announced that they will work towards a 20% reduction in meat served to benefit people’s health and achieve a reduction in the industry’s carbon footprint to benefit the environment.
We will continue to support PSC100 including by considering the target number and date, how it is measured and how they can ensure the remainder of the meat and dairy served is from farmers that work in a nature friendly way.
The National Food Strategy provides an important opportunity.
Eating Better organistions are advising on the strategy, including the Food Foundation, Soil Association and Landworker's Alliance. We would like to see this strategy linked up across Government departments.
We understand that a report is due out with learning and actions based on COVID and lockdown in July this year and then the report with recommendations for Government at the end of 2020/ start of 2021. The Government has then committed to publishing an ambitious, multi-disciplinary National Food Strategy, the first of its kind for 75 years, in the form of a White Paper.
This is arguably the most pressing issue, and perhaps the one that offers the most concerns. The Government has selected members for and launched a Trade and Agriculture Commission to advise on these deals, but there are concerns about whether the commission will have the ability to have an impact. We are concerned that there are no consumer representatives, animal welfare experts, environmental NGOs or representation of the National Food Strategy.
Eating Better organisations will continue to look for opportunities to influence these talks and show Government opportunities to ensure that British farmers aren’t having to compete unfairly.
We want to see food companies tracked by investors on their transition to more sustainable production and consumption.
Plating Up Progress by (Food Foundation and FCRN), the FAIRR Initiative and Feedback through Big Livestock vs The Planet are beginning to make headway on this, but investors need to go further faster.
By 2030 we want all food retailers to make a sustainable diets strategy the focus of their sustainability strategy and embed it across the business.
WWF have entered into a partnership with Tesco with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of the average UK shopping basket by 50%, improving the sustainability of food while ensuring it remains affordable for all.
We are calling for all retailers to embed sustainable diet strategies across their businesses. We are developing metrics (for defining progress in less and better) which will support this.
These priority areas have been agreed by Eating Better alliance organisations with expertise in farming, animal welfare, health and environment on the basis that they provide the greatest opportunity for impact over the next year:
If you are working on any of these actions and would like to talk, drop a line, or Tweet about it @Eating_Better #BetterByHalf.
Eating Better will continue to work with alliance organisations and others to deliver against these actions and plan to set out more on how we will do this in early Autumn.