Poultry sector calls on Government to help tackle consumer food poverty
The British poultry industry has called for a joined-up approach to tackling food poverty by ensuring everyone, including the most vulnerable, has access to safe, wholesome and nutritious food.
Parliamentarians, members of the poultry meat industry and organisations working directly with tackling food poverty attended a roundtable sponsored by Jenny Chapman MP, Shadow Minister for Exiting the EU, in parliament on 28th March.
They called for an integrated British food security policy that puts the needs of society at its heart and brings together food and farming, trade, and social policies.
Neil Parish MP, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said: “With the vote to leave the EU, our food security is now more important than ever. We need to produce more, high quality food. I was pleased that the Prime Minister recognised the importance of food security at Liaison Committee earlier this week. We now need to turn those words into Government action and make sure feeding the nation is a Government priority.”
John Reed, chairman of the British Poultry Council, added: “Poultry is now half of all the meat eaten in this country – our sector is at the forefront of feeding the nation. With the economic and social pressures being created by Brexit, access to food will become one of our nation’s biggest challenges in the coming years. We want to work with Government and the voluntary sector to fight food poverty and ensure that everyone has access to the food that we are proud to produce.”
Speaking at the roundtable, Jenny Chapman MP said: “Parliamentarians, business and the voluntary sector must collaborate together if we are serious about reducing food poverty. It is important that we focus our efforts to ensure healthy, nutritious food is available to all. I’m confident that if all three sectors join together, we can reduce food poverty, boost the industry and ensure a healthy diet is accessible to all.”
Representatives from British poultry meat businesses including Avara Foods, Moy Park and 2 Sisters Food Group highlighted the ways in which their businesses are working with UK food charity Fareshare to help fight hunger, tackle food waste and feed the most vulnerable. British Poultry Council members currently donate approximately three tonnes of poultry every week and have a target of 10 tonnes.
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare, said: “FareShare is really proud of its partnership with the British Poultry Council. Poultry meat is in extremely high demand amongst the frontline charities and community groups that we serve – that’s why we’re encouraging BPC members to help increase our weekly supply.
“This will in turn help FareShare feed thousands more people every day, providing hot nutritious meals to adults and children across the UK who struggle to afford good food, especially meat. We look forward to the year ahead, working with the BPC and their members to help ensure everyone in the UK has access to food and the services they need to lift themselves out of poverty.”