National Food Strategy #2: Responsibility, resilience & ethics

I was a fascinated observer at a workshop we organised and facilitated last week involving members of our Board along with a senior supermarket executive, a long-standing professional in environmental health inspection, a banker specialising in the agri-food sector and a director of a large fresh produce wholesale business.

After animated, informative  discussion among these people in-the-know about key aspects of our food supply system, we’ve agreed that the Birmingham Food Council response needs to cover these points:

  • Responsibility for food supplies for and to the population ultimately lies with the Government
    (as the British Retail Consortium said on 25th September 2019  to the Government in response to a no-deal Brexit; see also this BBC report by Faisal Islam on the matter)
  • In the light of this definition of food security:
    • UN FAO 1996 Rome Declaration: “Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for a healthy life.
      (I’m quoting from the second sentence in the first paragraph of their Plan of Action linked here).

      • With this third sentence being pertinent to HMG’s role:
        It reads: Each nation must adopt a strategy consistent with its resources and capacities to achieve its individual goals and, at the same time, cooperate regionally and internationally in order to organize collective solutions to global issues of food security.
    • And the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • And that we should propose a National Food Strategy focusses on two issues:
    • Resilience to actual and potential risks to the UK food supply system.
    • Ethics: The means by which the ethics of decision-making about the food system are taken.


The first blogpost in this National Food Strategy series is:

#1: The brief

A link to our submission is here.    A list of all the blogposts in this series is here.

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