Blog 8 May 2015 – Conservative Food Policies

Time For A Hot Sweet Tea!
Conservative Food Policies

The Taster Magazine Daily Update: Conservative Food Policies

Well, that was exciting. Whether it’s congratulations or commiserations, cups of hot sweet tea all round for the shock!

Just to recap — these are the Conservatives’ promises (and a few of their past achievements). However you voted, it’ll be interesting to see how many of these aims are realised in the next five years.

♦ Champion British farmers and food producers aiming to export. The manifesto emphasises opening up new markets abroad, for example in China and Singapore. The manifesto says: “British farming has a well-deserved and world-wide reputation for its top quality produce . . . As the world’s population continues to grow and tastes and diets develop, we believe that there are phenomenal opportunities to sell British food and drink abroad.” More specifically, they will create a ‘Great British Food Unit’ to promote British foods at home and abroad, and push for country-of-origin labelling in Europe.
♦ Help small farmers & suppliers get a fair deal from supermarkets  via the new Groceries Code Adjudicator. This might make some food items pricier if supermarkets pass increased costs on to customers. It’s up to individual consumers to decide whether this is a Bad or a Good Thing!
♦ Support fisheries. Combat illegal fishing, ban fish discards, and aim to add 100 Marine Protected Zones to the 27 set up in 2013, plus other measures centering around EU rules
♦ Reduce bureaucracy. Reduce red tape for farmers and, in relation to food labelling, avoid “burdensome” rules for small producers
♦ Reduce childhood obesity. Promote clear food information to allow people to make better food shopping choices

SOME CONSERVATIVE ACHIEVEMENTS during their past stint in power
Animal welfare. Introduced the Red Tractor labels and “pushed for tough legal action against [EU] countries who have failed to adhere to the phased bans on battery cages for chickens and sow stalls for pigs.”
Small producers. Introduced the Government Buying Standards under which more of the public monies spent on food and catering go to small and local companies, and promoted the ‘protected’ foods scheme (eg Anglesey sea salt, Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese, Melton Mowbray pork pies, Gloucester Old Spot pigs)
 Fishing. — with a little help from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, we think — reformed the EU Common Fisheries Policy and set up the UK’s first Marine Protected Zones, covering over 9000km². 10% of UK seas are now protected, and 25% of English inshore waters. According to the manifesto, “we now have a legally binding commitment to fish at sustainable levels. All this means that today, fishing communities from the Highlands to Cornwall have more security and peace of mind”

And now, we’re going to take a breath and brew a cuppa.


The Taster

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