15 July 2021
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New data shows strong British appetite for affordable and sustainable food
- As the National Food Strategy launches, British public shows support for upholding environmental standards in food production
- Almost 80% (79%) hold the government responsible for ensuring healthy, environmentally friendly food is cheap and easily available
- 82% think it’s important that farmers should be supported to produce food that is affordable and 79% that such food should be better for the environment.
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 coincide with the publication today of the National Food Strategy, a welcome review of the UK’s current food system.
David Edwards, Director of Food Strategy at WWF, said:
“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.”
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,054 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 7th - 8th July 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
The detail of the survey showed:
For the food we import
- 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 , with 47% considering this to be very important
- 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
For 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, with 43% thinking this is very important
- 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, with 44% thinking this is very important
- 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, with 42% believing the government has a great deal of responsibility for this
- 75% think it is important for the UK to set a good example to other countries on tackling climate change and biodiversity loss, with 47% considering this to be very important.