There's a lot of talk about the UK's commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 but is food production a missing piece of the puzzle when it comes to achieving this?
Successive governments have failed to fully grapple with the range of challenging issues arising out of food production, from farming through to manufacturing, distribution and retail. Whilst more government attention is now being paid to sustainable land management via the Environmental Land Management farming support regime (replacing the EU-wide subsidy regime as the UK leaves the EU), a joined-up approach to the supply chain is missing, as are programmes to help businesses tackle emissions throughout the wider food production process.
Following the government's announcement today that it is aiming for a 68% reduction in emissions by 2030 the pressure is increasing for all sectors. What seems to be missing for food producers, however, is a comprehensive review of how net zero can be achieved across the food supply chain and how businesses can be supported to tackle this.
The UK government is finally coming to terms with the urgent need for a cleaner future. Over a year after Theresa May committed to making the country net-zero by 2050, Boris Johnson set out a 10-point plan for a green revolution last month. As the UK prepares to host Cop26 next year, it is important that we show leadership on this issue. However, there is one major element missing, which is potentially transformative to the debate: food.