Welcome for ‘joined-up’ Welsh food strategy bill
Proposals which seek to strengthen Wales’ food strategy and ensure a sustainable future for both food producers and the environment have been welcomed by rural campaign group CPRW.
The Food (Wales) Bill, introduced by Monmouthshire MS Peter Fox, is seeking to introduce a more sustainable food system in Wales.
The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) supports the aims of the proposed Bill, as “a more joined up food strategy for Wales is desperately needed,” but it believes the proposed legislation could and should do more to deliver a sustainable future for both food producers, their rural communities, and the environment.
“There is a need for this and other more robust legislation to combat food wastage, excessive packaging, and better management of waste by-products in the production of goods and the raising of livestock,” CPRW said.
“More action is required to ensure that we safeguard our food supply for the future, regulate buying policies for large produce buyers to minimise waste, minimise packaging, respect the physical environment, and uphold animal and waste management best practice standards.”
It added: “The Welsh Government has not demonstrated that its current strategies for food are joined up or coherent. If the scope of this Bill is already within the purview of the Minister and the Welsh Government, as they claim, it is difficult to understand why these proposals are not already being implemented.”
CPRW also believes that the proposed Bill should be strengthened to include better food labelling, cutting down on excessive food packaging, and to make it harder for food buyers to refuse aesthetically imperfect products to reduce food waste.
“There is a lot more work needed to ensure a sustainable future for our food producers and the environment; this Bill will be a substantial step in that direction, but we need do so much more,” said a CPRW spokesperson.
“More action is needed to combat the causes and effects of climate change, increase biodiversity and protect Welsh agricultural soils from inappropriate management and land use change.”
The Food (Wales) Bill is currently out for consultation (closing today, September 16) before it will have to face a vote in the Senedd to see if it will proceed to committee stage.
The Bill’s purpose is to establish a more sustainable food system in Wales to strengthen food security, improve Wales’ socioeconomic well-being, and enhance consumer choice.
Other aims include placing a duty on Welsh Ministers to produce an annual Food Strategy for Wales to tackle food poverty and malnutrition; establish a Wales Food Commission; deliver a more sustainable, localised food system, requiring local authorities and other public services to develop community food plans; require Welsh Ministers to report annually on levels of food production in Wales; eliminating all forms of food waste and mandating supermarkets and other relevant shops to donate unwanted food to charities and food banks; and strengthening statutory requirements on food labelling, such as country of origin labelling.
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