THE GOVERNMENT is set to ditch plans to put increased taxes on sugary and salty foods in its food strategy, set to be published today.
The strategy will also put in place an independent review into labour shortages in the food supply chain, with a lack of workers causing farmers real issues in recent months.
The roadmap will, the government says, put more of a priority on the UK growing and eating more of its own food.
The industry’s trade body the Food and Drink Federation last night welcomed the strategy but said there was more that could be done to support a sector that the government says is bigger than the automotive and aerospace industries combined.
“There is more the Government can do – helping our sector to invest in the technologies that drive productivity, particularly in a very tight labour market, and ensuring that regulation – such as shaping new household recycling systems so they genuinely drive re-use in an efficient way – will be critical if the government is not going to drive extra costs into food manufacturing at a time of soaring inflation,” said the body’s chief executive Karen Betts.
National Farmers Union’ president Minette Batters however said a leaked draft of the strategy which emerged late last week had been “stripped to the bone” and would do little to increase farmers’ ability to produce more affordable food in an interview with the Guardian.
The government faces a rural by-election in Somerset this month.