Henry Dimbleby CREDIT Rachaellgough

Henry Dimbleby Photo: Rachaellgough

Defra has called for evidence to inform the new National Food Strategy.

Review leader Henry Dimbleby launched the call for evidence this weekend, with Defra accepting submissions up until 25 October. The evidence will inform what will be the UK's first National Food Strategy for 75 years.

The strategy aims to address the environmental and health problems caused by our food system, to ensure the security of UK food supply, and to maximise the benefits of the coming revolution in agricultural technology.

The National Food Strategy will examine activity across several departments of state, building on the Agriculture Bill and Fisheries Bill currently before Parliament, the Industrial Strategy, the Childhood Obesity Plan and the upcoming Environment Bill.

It is intended to be an overarching strategy for government, designed to ensure that the UK's food system delivers safe, healthy, affordable food, regardless of where people live or how much they earn; is robust in the face of future shocks; restores and enhances the natural environment for the next generation in this country; is built upon a resilient, sustainable and humane agriculture sector; is a thriving contributor to urban and rural economies, delivering well-paid jobs and supporting innovative producers and manufacturers across the country; and delivers all of this in an efficient and cost-effective way.

The government has committed to responding with a White Paper six months after the review is published. It has also asked Dimbleby to review progress 12 months after that.

Defra said it is looking for 'ideas big and small', from government policies to simple practical things that make a difference in communities or business. These might be things that are already working well, here or abroad, and that could be scaled up or used differently. Or they might be new ideas, such as things that haven’t been tried yet at scale, but which could have the potential to improve the system.

A summary of the responses will be available on the Defra website 12 weeks after the consultation closes.

Interested parties can submit evidence online here or can email Foodstrategycallforevidence@defra.gov.uk.