Vegan Conservatives was pleased that the Strategy has taken a “farm to fork” approach that covers the whole food value chain and outlines recommendations for creating a food system that is not as harmful to the environment. The document outlines how current food systems account for one-fifth of the UK’s domestic annual emissions and risks the UK’s delivery of its climate targets in the long term.
The report concludes with recommendations for “creating a long-term shift in our food culture” with climate, biodiversity, the economy and health and wellbeing as a central focus and Vegan Conservatives believes that this shift needs to be towards a plant based diet. Therefore it is pleasing to see that the report goes further than the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) recommendation that red meat and dairy consumption is reduced by 20% this decade on a per-capita basis with the position that a reduction of one-third would be better.
- The report argues against a tax on red meat and dairy whereas Vegan Conservatives believe that urgent action is needed to drive down meat and dairy consumption and so a tax should be considered. We would urge Government to re-consider how they reduce meat and dairy consumption and to be bold in their approach as part of the climate change targets.
- Vegan Conservatives strongly supports the report’s suggestion that £1bn of the upcoming £22bn Innovation Strategy is allocated to food systems innovations such as vertical farming, precision fermentation and the development and scaling of alternative plant-based proteins.
- We also strongly support the setting up of annual reports to Parliament on the full impacts of the food system, in a manner similar to CCC reports and this should include animal welfare, sustainability and environment factors.
- Vegan Conservatives believe Government should lead by example and should actively demonstrate its commitment to a better more sustainable food system by introducing meat free days across the public sector and ensuring local procurement models.