Food strategy is vital for agriculture – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Lyndsay Chapman, CEO, Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock.

The National Food Strategy is prompting much debate and discussion.

I AM writing to say how important the National Food Strategy is for the nation and the agri-food industry (Jason Reed, The Yorkshire Post, July 21).

In the first report of its kind for 75 years, Henry Dimbleby and his advisory board made some frank recommendations for the future of food production and consumption, which need to be acted upon now.

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These actions include a need for a £1bn investment in innovation to create a better food system through projects that highlight a focus on evidence-based results.

The National Food Strategy is prompting much debate and discussion.

At CIEL (Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock), in collaboration with our members and research partners, we have already invested in areas identified in the report to help advance livestock production. These include climate smart food systems, resource efficiency, disease control and novel approaches to reduce methane emissions.

The report’s recommendations that these areas should be front and centre of food production is positive, aligning with our ‘grand challenges’, but additional investment is critical to further advance the industry and would be welcomed by CIEL.

Ultimately, we must ensure that as a nation we can sustain our environment, our people and our livestock. The National Food Strategy does take a holistic look at our food system and recognises this creates some tension between the competing requirements. We appreciate the report putting farmers, research and innovation at its heart, to enable us to continue producing safe, nutritious food produced to high standards of care.

From: John G Davies, Alma Terrace, East Morton, Keighley.

The National Food Strategy is prompting much debate and discussion.

JASON Reed clearly finds it acceptable for the food industry to do whatever it takes to maximize its profits regardless of any effects that its activities may have on people’s health (The Yorkshire Post, July 21).

The intention of a tax on sugar and salt is to encourage manufacturers to reduce the amounts that they use in their products, so his assertion that “it is difficult to get away from the idea that the health nannies are trying their hardest to price the poor out of everyday pleasures” is based on erroneous logic.

If the manufacturer uses less sugar and salt, there will be little change in price.

He accuses the “health nannies” of “using the tired old ‘tobacco playbook’”. That approach is is far from “tired” because, like tobacco, sugar, salt and highly-processed foods have a detrimental effect on people’s health, so they should be regulated.

Obesity is proving a considerable burden on the health system because of its collateral effects, including diabetes, cardio-vascular problems and a susceptibility to other diseases, like Covid-19. So this tax would be a small, but important step towards a healthier society.

In demonising the “nanny state”, he wilfully ignores the major role of Government is to protect its citizens.

From: Chris Town, Slaithwaite.

I WAS intrigued to read (The Yorkshire Post, July 21) that Leeds City Council is committing budget and time into the acceptability of Parkin, one of Yorkshire’s traditional delights.

Hyde Park in London may be known for freedom of expression but the synonymous area of Leeds is plagued by graffiti which the council is ignoring except where there is racist comment.

Even its councillors have consistently failed to attend meetings on the subject with residents and landlords. Is the writing on the wall for Leeds City Council’s pride in its neighbourhood?

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