Mainstream business groups are agitating for policies that will drive a green industrial revolution, but ministers are still not listening. Nick Hughes reports. Last month I made an impassioned plea for business leaders who want to see the government adopt stronger sustainability policies to make their voices heard. Perhaps Tony Danker was listening? In a keynote speech delivered at…Read more
Political Print: Johnson continues to swerve the pig issues
If only the prime minister showed as much enthusiasm for a promised national food strategy as he does for Peppa Pig. By Nick Hughes. At least 16,000 healthy pigs have been culled and incinerated in the UK since the summer due to a shortage of capacity in abattoirs; yet it feels entirely in keeping with…Read more
Political Print: Government plots road to nowhere on diets
The need for dietary change remains a bewildering blind spot in the government’s new net-zero strategy. Nick Hughes reports. You wait months for the government to put some flesh onto the net-zero bone, then three critical documents totalling 700 pages land on the same morning just days before world leaders gather for the most important…Read more
Political Print: Will labour be Johnson’s undoing?
The government’s laissez-faire approach to the crisis engulfing UK food supply chains risks storing up long-term problems, says Nick Hughes. As parliament resumed this week the prime ministerial in-tray will have been piled unusually high with issues of national importance. Any one of coronavirus, Afghanistan or social care alone are weighty enough to give most…Read more
Does government have the appetite for Dimbleby’s food fix?
The first national food strategy in a generation makes the crucial connection between health and the environment, but is it destined to end up on the shelf? Nick Hughes reports. “The UK has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape the food system.” So says Henry Dimbleby, the man whose seminal national food strategy seeks to seize…Read more
Political print: Are we really governed by environmentalists?
The government is facing some inconvenient truths as patience with its green promises begins to dry up. David Burrows reports. “I am an environmentalist,” declared Michael Gove in July 2017. “We need to maintain and enhance the natural world around us, or find ourselves facing disaster.” He talked of better protection of the marine environment,…Read more
Political Print: Defra stumbles on road to Glasgow
The environment department still burns or buries 60% of its waste and is struggling to reduce its emissions. With COP26 looming it needs to set an example, says David Burrows. David Cameron went from hugging huskies and promising the greenest government ever to cutting the green crap. Boris Johnson, his successor bar one, is now…Read more
Political Print: A scientific spring?
The UK government wants to promote controversial crop-breeding technologies like gene editing. Foodservice businesses need to be part of the debate, says Nick Hughes. “Now that we have left the EU, we are free to make coherent policy decisions based on science and evidence.” So declared the environment secretary George Eustice last week as he…Read more
Political Print: Is blue still the colour of the food industry?
The government’s tin-eared response to the pandemic and Brexit has left question marks over the Conservative’s long-term appeal to businesses, argues Nick Hughes. There was a time not so long ago when the food supply chain was largely gilded in Conservative blue. Farmers by and large have traditionally sworn their allegiance to Tory MPs who…Read more
Political Print: Poleaxing of PHE is a pernicious act
The arms-length agency was making slow progress in tackling obesity, but axing it with no replacement is an act of national self-harm, argues Nick Hughes. As the government U-turns continue to stack up, the scrapping of Public Health England (PHE) may not, by strict definition, count among their number. But be in no doubt: abolishing…Read more