Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
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Council of food policy advisors publishes first report

Council of food policy advisors publishes first report

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 14 September 2009

208/09 The Council of Food Policy Advisors today published its first report for Environment Secretary Hilary Benn.

The Council has identified three priority areas to focus on:

· Defining an environmentally sustainable healthy diet;

· Government setting an example via public procurement; and

· A UK fruit and vegetable strategy.

A meeting of retailers, growers, and public procurers to consider the barriers to greater consumption and production of fruit and vegetables in the UK has already taken place, following discussions between the Council and Ministers.

Dame Suzi Leather, chair of the Council of Food Policy Advisors said:

“I am delighted that the work on the fruit and vegetable strategy has already progressed. This report sets out some of the steps we believe will be helpful in securing our food supply in a changing world.

“This is a huge and complex agenda and these are just the early issues where we believe an impact could be felt quickly if the right action is taken. We look forward to monitoring progress on these actions as well at tackling some further challenges that we as a country face.”

Welcoming the report, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said:

“Following the launch of the Government’s draft food strategy, the work of the Council of Food Policy Advisors will be important in helping to define what a sustainable healthy diet is for consumers.

“As we develop a long-term food strategy, I’m looking forward to hearing the Council’s views on a wide range of important issues, including how to equip people with the skills to succeed in the food industry, and how to deal with food poverty so that everyone has access to an affordable, healthy diet.”

Notes to editors

1. For more information, and to download the report published today, please go to http://www.defra.gov.uk/foodrin/policy/council/index.htm.

2. In developing this report the Council met with consumers, as well as with various experts within other Government Departments, NGO’s, industry, and the third sector.

3. Information and advice on making sustainable food choices can be found here: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Environmentandgreenerliving/Greenerhomeandgarden/Greenershopping/DG_064434.

Contacts:

Defra Press Office
NDS.DEFRA@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Tim Dunford
Phone: 020 7238 6001
tim.dunford@defra.gsi.gov.uk

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