A People's Food Policy
WHY DO WE NEED A PEOPLE'S FOOD POLICY?
We do not currently have a national food and farming plan, policy or legislative framework that integrates the compartmentalised policy realms of food production, health, labour rights, land use and planning, trade, the environment, democratic participation and community wellbeing. This absence is having serious long term, and increasingly irreversible impacts on our food and farming system, people’s livelihoods, the fabric and cohesion of both rural and urban communities.
To see real and significant shifts in the way our food system operates, we need to drastically change the way that food governance takes place. A People’s Food Policy aims to map out what an integrated food policy would look like if people were put at the heart of decision-making. A growing group of people from different civil society organisations, unions and community groups working across the food system have come together to develop the ideas and positions in this document.
Brexit represents an opportunity to create a food policy that is visionary, progressive and guarantees that everyone in this country is able to realise, without restriction, our right to food. Over the coming years, all of our economic and agricultural policies that were previously subject to European Union (EU) law will need to be revisited and rewritten. This is an enormous task and there are calls now from all corners of our food system to develop food policies and governance structures that are coherent, complementary and protect our food system and food cultures.
This document focuses on England, rather than the United Kingdom (UK) as a whole, because Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, through their powers of devolved governance, have already taken steps towards shifting how their food systems function and are governed. In Scotland for example, due in part to the highly-organised work of civil society, the devolved governments are beginning to develop policies and practices that shift the food system from a market-based approach to a rights-based approach to food.
There is much to learn from each other, and our hope is that the proposals in this document will cross pollinate with similar ideas and actions currently gaining pace across the UK.
Through building alliances and coalitions we aim to use this work to advocate for, campaign on and lobby for food policies we would like to see implemented at a national and local level in the coming years.