School meal standards could fall as Brexit bites

School meal nutrition standards could be revised or dropped in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to the BBC.

Internal local council planning documents seen by the broadcaster show use of fresh produce could fall and special dietary requirements might be “difficult to meet”. Some also mention the use of food banks.

“Some councils are anticipating they will not meet nutrition standards because of a rise in food prices and restriction of choice anticipated after a no-deal Brexit, particularly on fresh imports from Europe,” the report noted.

Andy Jones, the chair of the Public Sector Catering 100 Group said: "If a no-deal Brexit happens, I feel that the supply chain long term will absolutely be under pressure. And that will affect the most vulnerable in society."

Andrew Selley, chief executive of Bidfood, told the BBC that he doesn’t expect “calamitous” problems, but "there will be challenges around availability, delays at ports and around currency fluctuations".

Government papers leaked over the weekend to The Guardian also predicted food shortages and price rises if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement on October 31st.

The stories emerged as DEFRA promised “environmentally friendly, healthy and affordable food” as part of its plans for a new national food strategy. “As we leave the EU and seek to capitalise on the opportunities this can provide for the UK’s farmers and food producers, we have the chance to reshape our food system from farm to fork to ensure it is ready to deal with these 21st century pressures,” said environment secretary Theresa Villiers as she launched a call for evidence.

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