Political Print

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

Political Print: There is more to trade deals than chicken

As the UK Government tees up new deals, relaxing food standards in return for market access at a time of planetary breakdown smacks of the worst kind of short-termism. By Nick Hughes. Of all the insights gleaned during lockdown, the fact that chicken is a national obsession is among the most conclusive. As post-lockdown queues…
Read more

UK eyes larger slice of US trade pie

Before Covid-19 shunted Brexit into the background the UK government revealed its priorities for a trade deal with the United States. Nick Hughes looks at the detail and the implications for the food sector. What does the UK want from a US trade deal? In short, a bigger slice of the trade pie. Total trade…
Read more

Unconvincing Villiers leaves more questions than answers

The appearance of DEFRA secretary of state Theresa Villiers at a recent conference for UK farmers didn’t provide the clarity or reassurance the food industry is seeking for life in a post-EU world, writes Nick Hughes. When she took to the stage at this month’s annual Oxford Farming Conference Theresa Villiers had the opportunity to…
Read more

Plastic tax gets green light

The government has reiterated plans to charge for single-use plastic items as part of package of measures to tackle waste set out in the Queen’s Speech. Plans to extend producer responsibility, ensure a consistent approach to recycling and introduce deposit return schemes also feature in the new Environment Bill. The government will create a new…
Read more

Footprint News

Subscribe to Footprint News