NCB calls for greater investment in short supply chain infrastructure
National Craft Butchers (NCB) has welcomed the publication of the National Food Strategy Part Two but called for a specific plan to develop and support local and regional food systems.
The report outlined proposed recommendations to address the major issues facing the English food system from health to the climate and environment, which will have major knock-on effects on farming and food processing.
NCB welcomed the publication, stating their approval of the report’s recommendations of a balanced diet and less reliance on ultra-processed food being vital to the UK’s health. However, the organisation was critical of the paper’s use of meat as “a blanket term.”
NCB stated: “We need to differentiate between intensively farmed animals, which can be part of the problem, and locally produced pasture-fed cattle and sheep which are absolutely part of the solution. In other words, ‘It’s not the cow but the how.’”
This view, NCB said, is part of their organisation’s belief that the importance of domestic, high-quality, and traceable food production for the nation’s health and wellbeing should not be underestimated.
NCB legislative director and Abattoir Sector Group vice chair John Mettrick commented on the report’s recommendation that the Government should conduct a review of small abattoirs to ensure that the capacity exists to serve the expected increase in numbers of farms using livestock in their rotations.
Mettrick stated: “This is a critical issue which must be addressed and is one we have been campaigning on for some time, most recently as part of the Abattoir Sector Group. Local supply chains are vital to flexibility and food security and Small Local Abattoirs are a vital link in this chain.”
He added that NCB would like to suggest further recommendations on the matter, specifically a strategy to develop and support local and regional food systems. This strategy, NCB said, would mean greater investment in short supply chain infrastructure, as a key part of the National Food Strategy’s wider plan for healthy and sustainable food.
NCB also stated: “This strategy would also deliver lower food miles and shorter transport times for animals.”