The Food Briefing: December 2020

Guild member Joanna Blythman recently criticised the government for continuing to pursue outdated dietary guidelines in an op-ed for The Herald. Instead of pursuing low fat, sugar and salt, she says, we simply need to cook whole food. In the article Joanna cites the famously progressive Brazilian 2014 dietary guidelines which feature sage advice including ‘Be wary of food advertising’ and ‘Avoid consumption of ultra-processed foods’. Read Joanna’s article here.

Food from England is a new initiative that has been launched to support and promote small and artisanal food producers. Created from more than 30 regional groups, which represent over 43,000 businesses, it will support small and medium-sized businesses by providing a unified platform to communicate the industry’s needs to relevant government agencies and departments. One key aim is to help increase sales through independent retailers and agri-food tourism while encouraging consumers to keep supporting their local food and drink producers. Read more.

At the multinational end of the food production scale, Professor Mary Hendrickson from the Univeristy of Missouri has spent years studying the growing power of big agri-food businesses. In America, corporate power is consolidating as four companies now control the majority of food production. In a new report, Hendrickson looks at the impact of these companies controlling how billions of people eat and produce food, then sets out what’s needed from government, business and research to build an inclusive food system. Read more.

Find more food issues-related information from @GavinWren on Twitter.