A cross-party selection of parliamentarians and peers joined us in the House of Lords as we unveiled our annual Broken Plate report.
Now in its fifth year, it presents vital signs revealing the health of our food system, its impact on our lives, and what needs to change to help us eat more healthily and sustainably.
New Broken Plate podcast series launched
This cross-party event was addressed and attended by politicians from across the political spectrum, as well as academics, businesses, civil servants, NGOs and others from civil society.
Baroness Jenny Jones, member of the Green Party, welcomed attendees and introduced the event by highlighting just how shocking some of the findings in this year's Broken Plate report were, particularly as the cost of living crisis bites, and the cost of food continues to rise.
Laura Sandys, The Food Foundation’s Founder and Chair, drew the attention of attendees to the worrying forecast of the future of children born in 2022 that will occur without serious change to our food system: poor health, obesity, heart disease and diabetes will only become more common without systemic change.
Peter Aldous, the Conservative MP for Waveney, highlighted how our current food system doesn’t particularly work well for anybody – noting how difficult it is for British farmers such as himself with the current economy and climate.
Daniel Zeichner MP, the Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, brought attendees’ attention to a statistic highlighted in the report, namely that the poorest fifth of the population would need to spend half of their disposable income on food to afford a healthy diet.
He commented that this was something that is clearly impossible to do.
Introducing the Broken Plate report
Caroline Kenyon, advisor to the Liberal Democrats, read a statement of support the party leader Ed Davey MP.
It noted that "This report should be a wake-up call… Everyone should be able to feed themselves and their families with good quality, affordable, healthy food.
"That should be the bare minimum we expect in a prosperous society."
Anna Taylor, Executive Director of the Food Foundation, highlighted the differences between this year’s Broken Plate Report, and that of last year – drawing attention to deteriorating situation with regards to the price of food, and the need for solutions such as expansion of Free School Meals and improvements to the government’s Healthy Start scheme.
She also spoke of the need for long term action to improve the food the population consumes: improving the affordability, availability, and appeal of healthy food and how this could unlock significant benefits for our society.
The event showed there is support across the political spectrum for improving our food system so that it better delivers for individuals as well as entire communities.
The Broken Plate launch webinar
We now need the current and any future government to show real leadership on this issue and deliver to ensure that healthy and sustainable food is readily available to everybody in our society.