Covid-19 commentary: Submission to the EFRA Commons Select Committee

We made this Submission to the EFRA Commons Select Committee Call for Evidence on Covid-19 and food supply on 1st May 2020.

Our Submission contained three sections:
note: What’s replicated below are images, so neither footnotes nor links work, unlike in the PDF version linked here as well as  above.

  • Section 1 outlines who we are, what we do, our response to Covid 19 and a brief summery of the relevance of our pre-Covid work to today’s rapidly changing food supply system:
  • Section 2 outlines the response to date, pointing out that the considerable efforts to date have not been enough. We also point out that some features of today’s reconfigured food system do not bode well for recovery from this crisis, nor planning for the UK’s preparedness for the next one:

Section 3 has five sub-sections about what should happen next:

Our Submission concludes with an Annex, listing the 15 Covid-19 commentary posts published on-line as at 1st May 2020. They are:

  1. 13 features of our pre-Covid food system . . .
  2. Millions do not have access to enough food
  3. The shoppers’ perspective as lockdown continues
  4. The food supply system into the second month of lockdown
  5. The risks inherent in loosening regulations
  6. Has the time come to trial a universal basic income?
  7. Government food packages should not contain products that carry standard-rate VAT
  8. Will there be shortages: HMG need prepare for the worse (while hoping for the best)
  9. A really useful mapping of mutual aid groups
  10. Lockdown impacts on labour and distribution of fresh produce
  11. Do we really need crisps and cream cakes?
  12. Lessons from Milan’s approach to their food emergency
  13. What decision-makers need to pay attention to asap
  14. The food supply network on 20th March 2020
  15. Food System Transformation #11: Covid-19 and its impact on the food supply network


Written evidence submissions are listed on the Parliament website here. (At the time of publishing this blogpost, ours wasn’t listed, but we only submitted it on the afternoon of 1st May, a few hours before the original deadline . . . although it’s now extended to 22nd May.)

To date, only one oral evidence session is listed. This will be 2pm to 5pm on Tuesday 5th May. Witnesses are NFU President Minette Batters, AHDB’s Chief Strategy Officer, Tom Hind and British Growers Association CEO, Jack Ward.


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