The three key priorities set out by the organisation were titled: Food science education, Sustainable food system and Brexit.
In the first priority – Food science education – the organisation urged the government to recognise that food could be used as a vehicle to teach children science.
“With the loss of food science A levels, the next government needs to do more to encourage the integration of food topics into the science curricula for secondary school children,” said the IFST.
‘Encourage the integration of food topics’
“The only secondary qualification dealing with food – the Food Preparation and Nutrition GCSE – has a greater emphasis on the skills of food preparation and cooking and will not automatically be seen as a core GCSE for those wanting to pursue a career in food science.”
The second priority – Sustainable food system – called on the next government to implement policies that would help the nation to develop a more sustainable food system that encompassed social, environmental and economic sustainability.
“With the outgoing government’s Food and Farming plan further delayed by the election process, there is still no clear indication of any policies that will progress the UK to a more sustainable food system,” claimed the IFST.
“The need is great; growing environmental pressures, including climate change, soil degradation, disruption of water cycles, expanding pathogen ranges and increased regularity of extreme weather events, coupled with population growth and migration impact will continue to affect the food system.”
Maintain access to skills
The third priority – Brexit – asked the next government to maintain access to skills, research funding and collaboration to ensure a competitive and innovative food system once the UK left the EU.
The organisation listed four key points it wanted government to ensure as part of its Brexit deal.
This included a fit-for-purpose legislative framework and research funding to drive scientific discovery and innovation.
The IFST also called for the UK to have access to appropriate skills in food science and technology and a supply of safe, affordable and sustainable food.
IFST’s key priorities – at a glance
Food science education: using food to teach children science, supporting priorities in public health and creating an innovative economy.
Sustainable food system: creating a food and farming plan that is sustainable and takes into account social, environmental and economic sustainability.
Brexit: maintaining access to skilled workers, research funding and collaboration with food authorities after the UK leaves the EU.