2030 food plan fails on environment, FOE claims

Environmental campaigners have hit out at the Government’s Food 2030 strategy for failing to address the problem of “environmentally-destructive factory farming”.

Friends of the Earth claimed the report, launched at the Oxford Farming Conference today (Tues), fails to tackle the environmental impact of intensive meat production.

Helen Rimmer, Friends of the Earth food campaigner, said: “We urgently need a fresh approach, but the government has served up business as usual and failed to address the global impacts of intensive meat and dairy production.


“The government claims that consumers can secure Britain’s food future, but continues to spend more than £700m of public money on environmentally-destructive factory farming each year.


“We can feed a growing population without going vegetarian or relying on factory farms, but Ministers must come clean about the need to cut down on meat and dairy.”


Meanwhile, the food industry’s sector skills body, Improve, called on the government to back its strategy for food with investments in training.


Jack Matthews, Improve’s chief executive, said the key to achieving the strategy’s goals lay in investing in skills and technology.


“We cannot talk about creating a more secure, sustainable supply of food without also talking about significant investment in skills and technology. We are faced with a considerable balancing act as the food industry also needs to increase output if it is to meet rising demand. The only way to achieve this is by doing more with what we have - improving efficiency and driving productivity by creating a multi-skilled workforce in a clean, green and lean hi-tech industry.


“We need to nurture a high level of technical expertise within companies while also investing in the research and development of equipment and processes that will reduce energy usage and the demand for raw materials.”