COVID-19 exposes ‘serious weaknesses’ in food system

A new report by thinktank Veris for the Future warns that the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed a number of key flaws in the UK’s food system and that without action, consumers will face price hikes and an increasing divide between access to food by different parts of society.

The report has been prepared by a panel of 25 industry experts, together with a poll of 100 consumers. Senior Fellow & Director on Food Loss and Waste at the World Resources Institute commented, “The message must be: [we know] you care about your family, you care about your community, you want them to be healthy, and we’re going to help you do that. Companies can do that in nudge ways by making subtle changes to what they sell us, but they also have a role to play in starting that discussion – they are massive communicators with households and have a massive role in influencing consumers.”

According to the report’s authors, having a social license to operate is all the more critical given the government’s new prioritisation of tackling obesity ahead of a potential second wave. They say there is ‘a huge opportunity for food businesses to step up and play a crucial role in improving people’s health and making societies and economies less vulnerable to future pandemics, and there is clear consumer demand for them to take a lead.’

Photo source: Veris for the Future

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