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In October 2015 grassroots food and farming organisations in the UK began a process to create a People’s Food Policy for the UK. Stewarded by the LandWorkers’ Alliance, the aim of the project is to engage in a process from the ground up to articulate a vision of a fairer food system for all, and how it can be realised.
What is a food system?
A food system is the path that food travels from field to fork. It is made up of all the components of how food is grown, reared, harvested, processed, packaged, distributed, transported, accessed, consumed and disposed.
What is a food policy?
A food policy is any decision, program or project that is supported by government at local and national levels which effects how the food system works.
1. Why a People’s Food Policy?
Currently there is no National Food and Farming Policy across the UK that connects the dots between Food, Farming, Health, Labour rights, Trade, the Environment and Community well-being. This omission is having serious long term impacts on our food and farming system, people’s livelihoods, the fabric and cohesion of both rural and urban communities, and the environment.
However, in the wake of Brexit, calls for national policies on food and farming are being heard from across the political spectrum. It is entirely unclear what the implications of the UK’s departure from the European Union will be on our food system and many – or indeed all – of our food and farming policies will need to be reformed and renegotiated towards national policies. That is a huge task and we must ensure that a plurality of voices are represented at the negotiating table.
We urgently need to map out a Food and Farming Policy that prioritises and ensures everyone in the UK has the right and access to adequate and nutritious food, empowers communities, supports producers and protects the environment, using frameworks of food justice and food sovereignty. This work is intended to be carried out in a participatory, inclusive and grassroots way in order to provide a platform to a) vision what kind of dignified and just citizen’s food system we need across the UK and b) to articulate concrete policy recommendations as to how this vision can be realised as part of a National Food and Farming Policy
3. Our timeline
Since October 2015 until the end of September 2016, we will engage with people, grassroots organisations, community groups and unions across the country to discuss what sort of food and farming policies we need in the UK that will enable major changes in the policies and budgets that dictate our current food system.
By January 2017 we aim to have a working paper of the People’s Food Policy available for comment and contribution from those who participated in this consultation phase and for wider engagement. We hope to be able to build alliances and coalitions during this process.
4. The people’s contribution
We will create the People’s Food Policy by seeking participation and collaboration with individuals and groups across the UK who have been organising and working around realising our right to food.
Your participation in this process is essential if we are to put together a document that reflects and includes the multitude of voices, most pressing issues and lived experiences of people in the food system across the UK. The contributions we receive in this questionnaire will be a core foundation for writing the document and building alliances with each other.
In these hugely unpredictable times, now more than ever, it is crucial that our voices are heard strongly and in harmony if we are to see the development of national food and farming policies that are of benefit to us all. Together we have the power to influence and shape the future of our