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Soil Association is a leading voice ahead of National Food Strategy publication

School children eating lunch

The Soil Association is a leading voice on the leaked document, condemning the expected strategy as 'thin gruel'

Following the leaking of the National Food Strategy over the weekend, the Soil Association has been extensively featured in the press coverage of the report, condemning the document as ‘thin gruel’.

The white paper, expected later today (13.06.22) is a direct response to last year’s wide-ranging review of Britain’s food system, which was led by the restaurateur Henry Dimbleby. 

Over the weekend, we saw early expectations of what will be revealed in today's response, and voiced our disappointment at the lack of ambition to the change we all know is needed. 

We were able to voice our concerns on not making Free School Meals available to more pupils, the risks of letting the cost of living crisis go unaddressed, and allowing unsustainable diets to continue. 

Recommendations by Dimbleby on diet and public health, such as the expansion of Free School Meals, using a sugar and salt tax to fund healthy food options for those in poverty, were ignored.

Rob Percival, Head of Food policy shared our fears about the Governments' weak response with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

“I think that it’s really negligent, the degree to which it’s failed to follow through on the food strategy recommendations."

“People are struggling to eat. We have these enormous challenges in relation to the climate crisis, the geopolitical shocks to the food system, and this is not up to scratch, this document. It does not contain the robust, coherent approach to food policy that we need to address these issues. So it’s disappointing.”

Rob also spoke to the Guardian this morning, saying: “It seems that what broke this strategy was not a lack of good intent but a narrow-minded ideology which believes government should not intervene to reshape diets.”

While we wait for the report in full, here is a roundup of how we’ve been able to respond to the leaked response: