Britain to carry out biggest ever food review since World War II

The first major review of Britain's food system for 75 years was announced Thursday by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

The entire food system from field to fork will be investigated, with the government considering what changes are needed to ensure safe, healthy and affordable food available regardless of where people live or how much they earn.

Gove described the move as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to cultivate a stronger food system for the future.

Gove said: "Leaving the European Union is a great opportunity for British farmers and food producers. But with an expanding population, the urgent threat of climate change and rising levels of diet-related disease, we face many challenges too.

"That is why the time is right for us to look afresh at our food system to ensure everyone has access to high-quality British food and our environment is protected for future generations."

The review is headed by restaurateur Henry Dimbleby from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

His recommendations will result in a trailblazing new National Food Strategy, set to be published in 2020.

Dimbleby's brief will be to discover whether Britain's food system is robust in the face of future shocks, and is a resilient and sustainable agriculture sector. He will also examine if the food system restores and enhances the natural environment for the next generation.

Ian Wright, CEO of the Food and Drink Federation, said: "It is central to the economic success and cultural fabric of our country and the UK's largest manufacturing sector. Its contribution to our future growth, prosperity and sustainability is vital."

Professor Judy Buttriss, Director General of the British Nutrition Foundation, said: "This important initiative provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to look at food, nutrition and the environment in the round, through multiple lenses. Good nutrition is as much about eating more of some things as it is about cutting back on others."

Buttriss said the integrated message of variety, balance and nutrient density, and making every calorie count, needs to be reflected in food production, through to what is taught to children in school.

The last major food review in Britain took place as the Second World War was ending in the 1940s.

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