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Government urged to set waste targets across food chain

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In its latest report on Planetary Health, the UK Parliament’s Environment Audit Committee has highlighted concerns about food production and security, and called for targets to reduce food waste throughout the supply chain.

In the UK, food contributes up to 30 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions, with food waste totalling 10 million tonnes every year. In future, extreme temperatures and rising rainfall could increase disease among the UK’s livestock, with crops likely to be hit by more frequent water shortages. According to the Committee the government is complacent to these risks.

Along with other sections on climate change, in terms of food security it says the National Food Strategy must recognise the risks to national food security from importing 40 per cent of the UK’s food and explore policies to mitigate these risks, as well as ensuring that the UK delivers healthy diets to all income groups, particularly the poorest.

It also want to see ‘annual targets to reduce food waste at every level of the food supply chain, consistent with the Government’s aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 at the very latest.’

Environmental Audit Committee Chair Mary Creagh MP said, “Nearly 20 per cent of the UK’s fruit and vegetables come from countries at risk from climate breakdown. We are facing a food security crisis, exacerbated by uncertainty over the UK’s future trading position with the EU and the rest of the world. Ministers must now publish all the information they hold from Operation Yellowhammer on food security and likely costs in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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