UK MP calls for food sector reshuffling
Sandys said that UK supermarkets’ “quantity buying” model generated too much food waste and would not be sustainable in the future. She held a roundtable with Minister of Agriculture Jim Paice and food experts, calling for change on the back of March’s 5.4% inflation, up from 4.2% in February.
“The policies of the past have resulted in the UK becoming the most dependent on imported food in the OECD. With a weak pound, high imports, high consumption of labour intensive foods and a loss of food skills in the home, we will become more and more vulnerable to the guaranteed rise in food commodities globally.
“Food inflation is having a significant impact on disposable income, healthy families and consumer confidence. It is time we accepted that prices are only going in one direction – up – and that the best solution is to help build a resilient consumer,” she said.
The MP called for more consumer focus in policy development, as well as packaging and promotions, in order to reduce waste and encourage home-cooking. She also warned about the impact climate change would have on food production, and urged the government to prepare for it and ensure British farmers are aware of the possible effects on their crops and practices.
Finally, she urged all government departments to work together on food policy in order to ensure the resilience of consumers and the sector in the face of increased competition and rising prices.