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06 March 2013
A Herefordshire member recently represented young farmers at a government working group that is looking into the sustainability of food consumption in Britain.
Russell Carrington, Hereford YFC, attended the meeting in London along with representatives from other industry bodies. The session focused on consumer behaviour and the move towards healthier and more sustainable diets and how these can contribute to economic growth. Russell put forward suggestions from other YFC members on challenges with current consumption trends and good examples of initiatives supporting better diets.
Comments from YFC members included the need for consumer trends to increase support for farmers producing good quality produce whilst enabling them to make a profit and enhance the environment. Concerns were raised about the nutritional value of some foods decreasing, and the knock-on effect this may have on human health.
The Great British Beef week and the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association were both cited by members as examples that are encouraging better communication between producer and consumer, and a means of healthier eating.
The Sustainable Consumption working group was initiated by the Green Food Project, which was launched in 2011 following a government white paper recommending a radical review of the UK’s food industry in light of climate change and depleting resources. The project, involving a number of industry partners including YFC, set out a number of areas to be explored in more detail to identify actions for facilitating a move towards a more sustainable future.
Russell said: “It was a busy meeting with lots of input from many organisations but I chipped in where I could to give the perspective of a young farmer needing supportive and understanding consumers. This was well received and the group appreciated some input from us – we should keep this up if we can because it is helping to secure our future.”
For more information on the Green Food Project and NFYFC’s involvement visit http://www.nfyfc.org.uk/greenfoodproject
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