Responses to a YouGov survey, commissioned by WWF, reveal that the British public has a strong appetite for environmental standards for all food sold in the UK, whether imported or home-grown – and that there are high expectations of the government to deliver.
80% of respondents said it was unacceptable for cheaper imports to come at the expense of UK standards on public health, animal welfare and the environment.
75% believe the UK should set a good example to other countries on tackling climate change and biodiversity loss.
These findings coincided with the publication of the National Food Strategy, a welcome review of the UK’s current food system, on 15 July.
‘The National Food Strategy is our first chance in 75 years to create a food system that is good for our planet and our health. The government must satisfy public appetite by setting ambitious standards to achieve this.
‘The way we produce our food is key to the UK reaching its net zero and nature restoration targets, so we must bolster funding of nature-friendly farming and set core environmental standards to stop the import of products which rely on the worst farming practices for nature, are already banned in the UK, and which undermine British farmers’ efforts towards more sustainable agriculture.
‘We should not waste this golden opportunity to give the British public the affordable, sustainable and healthy food they want and deserve.’
Director of Food Strategy at WWF
78% of respondents think that it is important for the UK to have standards for trade which would set a minimum level of protection for the environment.
80% of respondents consider that for UK trade deals, it is not acceptable for cheaper imports to come at the expense of UK standards on people’s health, animal welfare and the environment.
When it comes to the food we produce, 82% of respondents think that it is important for the UK and devolved governments to provide support to British farmers to produce food that is more affordable.
79% of respondents think that it is important for the UK and devolved governments to provide support to British farmers to produce food that is better for the environment.
79% believe the government has responsibility for ensuring that food which is healthier and better for the environment is among the cheapest and most easily available.
75% think it is important for the UK to set a good example to other countries on tackling climate change and biodiversity loss.