Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.
Over the next year Mr Gove & the government have committed to producing a new National Food Strategy that will be the first since the end of World War II.
The reason for the new Food Policy: “The time is right for us to look afresh at our food system to ensure everyone has access to high-quality British food and our environment is protected for future generations.”
Henry Dimbleby leading the strategy has said:
No part of our economy matters more than food. It is vital for life, and for pleasure. It shapes our sense of family, community and nation: cooking and eating together is perhaps the defining communal act. The food system also provides jobs for one in eight of us.
Much of this is made possible by a free market that performs a million daily miracles, producing, exporting, importing, processing and serving up a dazzling variety of reasonably-priced foods in an abundance unimaginable to previous generations.But this bounty has come at a cost. Intensive farming practises have caused serious damage to the environment and the food related disease is costing the NHS billions and drastically harming the lives of millions. Food security, too, is a growing concern: population growth, climate change, the global increase in meat eating are intensifying resource competition between nations…. For more and to register to be on a special panel click here
It seems extraordinary that the government has not changed its food strategy in 75 years considering the huge changes we have seen. Changes on the farming side like; mechanisation, factory farming, chemicals, GM, globalisation and loss of local markets. And in the consumer side the loss of; local specialist shops, jobs on farms, local agricultural diversity, and the rise in; the power of supermarkets, and popularity of ready meals and take-aways.
We have volunteered to help Henry in any way we can especially as BigBarn was set up 19 years ago to try and combat the negative consequences of the changes above.We started with our Local Food Map to reconnect people with their local producers and encourage trade and communication. This continues to be crucial to change, we now have 7,500 farmers, producers & independent retailers listed and share the map with 90+ other websites. We added our online MarketPlace 9 years later and Crop for the Shop to try and get people and even schools growing and trading food locally.
We now realise that the power of marketing is still causing too many consumers to make the wrong buying choices and contributing to the massive 20% NHS spend on Food Related disease and the growing use of plastic.
We see information & education as the answer. Information on plastic through the media and internet is making a real difference and where some schools have started including food growing and cooking on the curriculum kids attitudes to food are changing and influencing their parents.
If you would like to help please add your name to the 6,000 people who have signed our petition to get Food Growing, Cooking & Nutrition on the School Curriculum here. Or check our Local Food Map and send us any errors or omissions to get included in our prize draw to win a big box of Fairfields crisps here.