In 2019, the Government commissioned a two-part interrogation into the food system in the UK, called the National Food Strategy. Part one was published in July 2020 and part two has been published today (15.07.21)
The aim of the strategy is to set out a vision for a better food system, particularly keeping in mind the further uncertainty created by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Food for Life has been praised throughout the strategy for our role in creating a food system that works for both nature and our health. The strategy states that:
“Beyond enforcing baseline standards, accreditation schemes are needed to raise the quality of food still higher. This is demonstrated by the Food for Life Served Here scheme. This framework for caterers monitors how food is sourced, cooked and promoted. Institutions are rigorously inspected to make sure they deserve the Food for Life mark of quality.
“Over 2 million meals are served each day to Food for Life standards, including in roughly 50% of English primary schools, over 50 NHS hospitals and over 50 universities. Independent evaluation of the scheme has shown that for every £1 spent on local seasonal produce, £3 is generated in social, economic and environmental value in the local community.”
The strategy also cites our work in schools, saying:
‘The Government should require all schools to work with accreditation schemes such as Food for Life to improve school food and food education.’
We are proud to have been championed as a tool to ensure even more people can access high quality, sustainable and healthy food. Soil Association CEO Helen Browning has said: “Among the most important recommendations in the strategy are those related to the food served in public settings, such as schools and hospitals.
“The strategy recognises the pioneering role the Soil Association’s ‘Food for Life’ programme has played in this regard and recommends changes that would put healthier and more sustainable ingredients on the plate.”