Local Authority update: food planning for continuing Brexit uncertainties

I only went in for a bag of rye flour. This is just a small part of the selection of flours available at the True Food community Co-op and there were three different options for rye flour. I'm lucky to find just one in a standard supermarket!

Local Authority update: food planning for continuing Brexit uncertainties

Tony Lewis, Gary McFarlane, Tim Lang, Erik Millstone & Terry Marsden

Brexit uncertainty continues, not just about when and how we might leave the EU, but about what food trading and supply chain conditions may prevail after we have left, whatever the circumstances. In this context, Local Authorities (LAs), which have specific legal responsibilities in relation to food and which are also repositories of expertise on local food systems, will be in the front line in coping with the challenges that arise. This Briefing updates the Guidance on food Brexit planning for LAs that we published in November 2018. It reiterates the need for LAs to locate and draw together existing expertise within public authorities, create food resilience teams, identify and plan for possible scenarios, and ‘be the local voice for food’. Additionally, it recommends that LAs should:

  • Plan for the social groups for whom they have specific responsibility, including, in some cases, school pupils, the elderly and people in social care.
  • Prepare plans for communicating with the public under recommendations issued in 2011, ancillary to the 2004 Civil Contingencies Act.
  • Liaise with other LAs and national professional bodies.
  • Maintain pressure on central Government to provide better information about food supply risks.
  • Liaise with representatives of food companies located in their geographical areas to ensure as full understanding as is possible, in accordance with their corporate lines of communication.

About the authors

2016 Tony Lewis photo

Tony Lewis

Tony Lewis is a Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner, a Fellow of CIEH and is currently Head of Policy for the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health. Prior to joining CIEH, Tony was employed as a Senior Lecturer in Environmental Health (specialising in environmental protection and health and safety) at Manchester Polytechnic, Nottingham Trent University and the School of Public Health Medicine at Nottingham University. Tony has also contributed to the Master of Studies programme in Public Health at Homerton School of Health Sciences at Cambridge University and has been a long-standing Associate Lecturer in Health and Safety Law at the University of Surrey.

Gary McFarlane

As Director of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health in Northern Ireland, Gary works with government, local authorities, universities, non-governmental organisations and the private sector to develop ‘healthy’ policy. Much of this work seeks to highlight the critical links between environment and health in the context of sustainable development and public health. He has written and presented on these topics at regional, national and international level. Gary has extensive experience of food safety and standards through previous appointments in the Environmental Health service in NI. He has also recently served as a member of the SafeFood all island Scientific Advisory Committee. He was involved in setting up the Belfast Food Network, which recently helped Belfast City achieve the bronze Sustainable Food City Award. He was the inaugural Chair of its Advisory Board and remains an active Board member.

Tim Lang

Tim Lang has been Professor of Food Policy at City, University of London, Centre for Food Policy since 2002. He founded the Centre in 1994. After a PhD in social psychology at Leeds University, he became a hill farmer in the 1970s in the Forest of Bowland, Lancashire which shifted his attention to food policy, where it has been ever since. For years, he’s engaged in academic and public research and debate about its direction, locally to globally. His abiding interest is how policy addresses the mixed challenge of ensuring that food is good for the environment, health, social justice, and consumers. What is a good food system? How is ours measured and measuring up? He has been Vice-President of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (since 1999).

Erik Millstone talking High Res May2010

Erik Millstone

Erik Millstone is an Emeritus Professor of Science Policy at the University of Sussex.  His first degree was in Physics, followed by three in Philosophy.  Since 1974 he has been researching into the causes, consequences and regulation of technological change in the food and chemical industries. His research focus has extended over food additives, pesticides and veterinary medicines, as well as BSE, GM foods and obesity. Since 1988 he has been analysing in more general terms the role of scientific experts, evidence and advice in public policy-making.

Having conducted comparative studies of food safety policy-making regimes across numerous jurisdictions, he contributed to articulating proposals for the creation of the UK’s Food Standards Agency, and led a study for the European Parliament reviewing the proposal to create the European Food Safety Authority. In the past 12 years his researches have extended into food and agricultural policies in developing countries.  Much of his current research focuses on the implications of Brexit for food security in the UK.

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Cancer Research UK Senior Nurse, Barbara Moore launching Shine Cardiff 2010. 
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Kyrles View Barn,Warrage Road Raglan.NP15 2LD

Terry Marsden

Professor Terry Marsden researches the interdisciplinary social science and applied policy fields of rural geography, rural sociology, environmental sociology, geography and planning. He has published over 150 international journal articles, book chapters or books. This includes 20 research monographs and edited collections.

Professor Marsden’s body of work ranges from original theoretical work in the field, through to empirical analysis and emerging policy impacts and analysis. It includes wide ranging work on: the socio-economic restructuring of agriculture; theorisations and empirical investigations of rural development; analysis of agri-food chains and networks; and critical commentaries in the emerging fields of environmental sociology and environmental planning. The empirical work has extended from the UK, Europe, Brazil, the Caribbean and now China.

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