In June this year Michael Gove, then Secretary of State for Defra, commissioned Henry Dimbleby to conduct an independent review to help the government create the first National Food Strategy in 75 years.
The review will address the environmental and health problems caused by our food system; and is intended to be an overarching strategy for government, to ensure that our food system delivers safe, healthy, affordable food, regardless of where people live or how much they earn. The full Terms of Reference for the review can be found here.
In our submission, SFM focused on the importance of supporting and encouraging schools to become Healthy Zones - places where children’s health and wellbeing is consistently promoted through the policies and actions of the whole school community. Our submission included the following recommendations:
School Food Standards must be made mandatory across all schools and Early Years settings without exception
A new stand-alone subject, Food Education, which should be mandatory in all schools
The Free School Meal allowance should be reviewed in line with rising costs, and rebranded to remove stigma
Introduce meat-free days as part of public sector food procurement
Ban bottled water in schools, and use SDIL to fund drinking fountains / refill stations in schools