“No part of our economy matters more than food. It is vital for life, and for pleasure. It shapes our sense of family, community and nation: cooking and eating together is perhaps the defining communal act. The food system also provides jobs for one in seven of us.

“Much of this is made possible by a free market that performs a million daily miracles, producing, exporting, importing, processing and serving up a dazzling variety of reasonably-priced foods in an abundance unimaginable to previous generations.

“But this bounty has come at a cost. Intensive farming practises have caused serious damage to the environment and the food related disease is costing the NHS billions and drastically harming the lives of millions. Food security, too, is a growing concern: population growth, climate change, the global increase in meat eating are intensifying resource competition between nations.

“This review will be built on rigorous evidence and analysis; but the answers to some of the most important questions cannot be mathematically calculated. What do we want our countryside to look like? As our understanding of animal sentience increases, how should we prioritise the welfare of livestock? What role should the government play to protect us from our “bad” dietary choices? These are not questions that I – or indeed the government – can answer alone.

“So I will be creating a Citizens’ Assembly: a large panel of citizens, randomly selected, but balanced to reflect the demographics of the nation. This assembly will listen to testimony from experts, debate the issues and advise us on their findings.

“If you would like to be involved in the conversation, please get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you.”

Henry Dimbleby
Independent Lead
National Food Strategy


Visit https://www.nationalfoodstrategy.org/ for further information