A review of the UK food system has been announced by Defra Secretary of State Michael Gove.
Mr Gove has appointed Henry Dimbleby – co-founder of restaurant chain Leon and of the Sustainable Restaurant Association – to lead the first major review of the UK food system in 75 years, and to make recommendations for a new national food strategy.
A Defra spokeswoman said the new strategy will be UK-wide and Mr Dimbleby will work with the devolved administrations throughout the course of the year-long review.
“Leaving the EU is a great opportunity for British farmers and food producers,” said Mr Gove.
“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.”
Mr Dimbleby said: “No part of our economy matters more than food. It is vital to life and shapes our sense of identity.
“But there are urgent challenges with which we must grapple.
“Populations are growing, diet-related conditions are harming the lives of millions, and climate change is altering what our land will yield.
“From farmers in the field to chefs in the kitchen, over the next year I’ll be speaking with people from across the food chain to address these challenges and ensure everyone has a say in shaping the future.”
NFU England and Wales president Minette Batters said the review was long overdue.
She added: “It is crucial that this strategy delivers for everyone – from food producers to families across the country, regardless of their income. Safe, traceable, affordable food that is produced to high standards of animal welfare and environmental protection is a right for all and British farmers should be the number one supplier of this.”