The Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) has today welcomed the proposals put forward by Monmouthshire MS, Peter Fox, which seeks to strengthen Wales’ food strategy, increase food security, benefit producers, and ensure a sustainable future for both food producers and the environment.
The Food (Wales) Bill, introduced by Peter Fox MS, is seeking to introduce a more sustainable food system in Wales. CPRW strongly 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.
Commenting on the proposed legislation, a spokesperson for CPRW said:
“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.
“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.”
“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, cut down on excessive food packaging, and 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!
“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.” said a CPRW spokesperson.
The Food (Wales) Bill is currently out for consultation (closes 16.09.2022) before it will have to face a vote in the Senedd to see if it will proceed to committee stage.
Notes to editors:
CPRW believes that this Bill could and perhaps should address the following aspects into a food strategy for Wales:
- Clear labelling of food to indicate provenance, including a percentage of origin if processed food is being advertised.
- Labelling should be used to indicate the type of farming involved to produce the product, including if it is organic, free-range or intensive farming
- Animal welfare good practices should be indicted on the labelling of the product (where appropriate)
The Bill should legislate to make excessive packaging of food products illegal, as in France (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-59843697). This will cut down on costs, packaging waste, and litter.
Aesthetically imperfect products
This Bill should legislate to make it harder for food buyers to refuse aesthetically imperfect produce. This will help reduce waste and increase food supply.
This Bill should propose that we make it illegal for supermarkets / large produce buyers to ‘throw away’ food, instead donating this food to schools, food banks and other outlets. This will cut down on waste and the amount of food that reaches our landfill sites. This was introduced in France in 2016 (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/04/french-law-forbids-food-waste-by-supermarkets ).
Repay best practice
Awards or other forms of recognition should be given to those producers who uphold the best practice for animal welfare, waste management, sustainable practices and promoting biodiversity. Taking the Red Tractor badge further, this Bill could incorporate more targets to reach the aforementioned best practices to gain another level of quality products.
Air Miles Tariff
In order to both combat carbon waste and promote local producers the Bill should indicate that an “Air Miles” tariff be placed on food products from overseas - the further it travels the higher the tariff.
A full copy of CPRW’s consultation response is available at: https://cprw.org.uk/cms-data/resources/CPRW_%20Food%20Wales%20Bill%20Consultation%20response_13.09.2022_1.pdf