As part of this, it says the strategy aims to increase domestic production, spread jobs and grow the economy.
Currently, the UK only produces 15% of tomatoes supplied domestically, but new generation technology, such as sustainable and efficient glasshouses, has opened up new opportunities for British producers which will help to reduce reliance on overseas production, according to the government.
The plans outlined last month – including incentives for industry and investment in research – will support farmers to harness this innovation to boost home-grown fruit and vegetable production, and in turn create new job opportunities across the country.
In light of the consequences of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine for the global economy, which has caused knock on impacts for food supplies as well as spikes in prices, the Strategy will also set out the importance of maintaining and boosting our food security, including plans to strengthen the resilience of our supply chains and boost domestic production to help protect against future economic shocks and crises.
It commits to broadly maintaining the current level of food that we produce domestically and boosting production in sectors where there are the biggest opportunities – such as horticulture and seafood.
£270 million will be invested across farming innovation funding programmes until 2029, to unlock technologies to drive sustainable farming techniques which will help increase productivity and profitability and the sector’s long-term resilience.
As well as stepping up work with industry to identify ways to help more people into jobs all along the food supply chain, the strategy also sets out plans to create a new professional body for the farming and growing industry to step up professional training and develop clear career pathways, equipping people and businesses with the skills needed to run sustainable and profitable businesses.
The strategy also includes plans to:
- Consult on an ambition for 50% of public sector expenditure on food procurement to be on food either produced locally or to higher standards
- Incentivise the sector to use surplus heat and CO2 from industrial processes, and renewable sources of energy to increase domestic horticultural production
- Review the planning permission process to support new developments of glasshouses
- Launch an independent review to tackle labour shortages in the food supply chain, to look at the roles of automation, domestic labour and migration to ensure UK businesses can access the labour they require
- Consult on how to improve on and expand animal welfare labelling, to help consumers identify when products meet or exceed our high UK animal welfare standards
- Extend the Seasonal Workers visa route to poultry, following a successful pilot last year
- Publish a framework for land use in England next year
- Consult on food waste reporting for larger businesses over a certain size
- Publish a statement setting out requirements for those wishing to access the UK market to objectively demonstrate they deliver an equivalent level of health protection to our high domestic standards
- Explore how to make the most of innovative feed additives that can reduce methane emissions from livestock, to support sustainable farming
- Launch a new partnership between the public and private sector to provide consumers with more information about the food they eat while incentivising industry to produce healthier, more ethical and sustainable goods.