Local ‘food resilience teams’ to prepare for Brexit

By James Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

Local authorities have been urged to set up teams to prepare for food supply issues post-Brexit
Local authorities have been urged to set up teams to prepare for food supply issues post-Brexit
Local authorities (LAs) have been urged to set up ‘food resilience teams’ to help prepare for Brexit scenarios that might affect food provision and supply.

Specialists at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), City, University of London and the University of Sussex forwarded the notice to every local council in the UK.

The briefing, the latest in the Food Brexit Briefing series from the Food Research Collaboration, advised that councils would have a role to play as the local voice and ears to help limit the risk of social disorder, which has been brought on by food supply problems in the past.

It highlighted LAs’ responsibility for the enforcement of food safety and standards regulations, with a scope ranging from school meals to imported and exported products.

Affect the food system

The notice also speculated that every form of Brexit would affect the food system in some way, with emphasis on planning for a potential no-deal scenario.

Gary McFarlane, Northern Ireland director of the CIEH, said: “Whatever the outcomes of political negotiations, significant change is on the horizon.

“Local authorities will be key facilitators for both business and local communities and this document seeks to provide practical ideas that assist in that role.”

Mapping existing food systems

Advice given included mapping existing food systems in their regions and conducting rapid assessments of where risks and potential disruptions lay. A full list can be found in the box below.

Professor Tim Lang, of the Centre for Food Policy at City, added: “Setting up food resilience teams is something practical local authorities can do. These should map local food system risks and help set public protection priorities.”

Click here​ to see the briefing paper in full.

Meanwhile, local authorities in England are less capable of dealing with food standards issues​ than their equivalents in Northern Ireland and Wales, according to a new report.

Related topics: Regulation, Brexit Debate

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