Government will maintain Labour’s sustainability goals, predict experts

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: World population, Food security, Agriculture, Defra

The coalition government is unlikely to ditch the sustainability goals of the last administration, although it is likely to put its own stamp on them, industry experts and officials have suggested.

Chancellor George Osborne announced cuts to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' (DEFRA's) budget of £162m last month. While below some predictions, these will still have an adverse impact on which initiatives DEFRA can afford.

But because the Food 2030 strategy launched by former secretary of state Hilary Benn in January made few financial commitments, some DEFRA sources believe it is unlikely the new government will change its direction.

Policy experts argue that the issues of climate change, global population growth and food security are so great that they cannot be ignored by any party. The Tories/Lib Dems have recognised that: "much more needs to be done to protect biodiversity and encourage sustainable food production".

Professor of food policy at City University and former adviser to the Labour government, Tim Lang, told the British Meat Processors Association this would be proved when the Foresight Report on Global Food & Farming Futures is published in October.

"It doesn't matter who the government is," said Lang. "The facts are the facts ... And they'll end up with something like the same strategy." Lang has written to new DEFRA secretary of state Caroline Spelman stressing the "urgent need to rebuild British food and farming".

Related topics: Supply Chain

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