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NCB responds to National Food Strategy

National Food Strategy Reponse

National Craft Butchers welcomes the publication of the National Food Strategy. We agree that a balanced diet and less reliance on ultra-processed food is vital to the UK’s health.  We do not however agree that meat should be used as a blanket term. Scientific and medical communities all agree that meat is a key part of a healthy, balanced diet, full of essential vitamins and minerals.

We need to differentiate between intensively farmed animals, which can be part of the problem, and locally produced pasture-fed cattle and sheep which are absolutely part of the solution. In other words, ‘It’s not the cow but the how.’

We believe that the importance of domestic, high-quality, and traceable food production for the nation’s health and wellbeing should not be underestimated. This is the type of produce that our Craft Butchers excel in and we would recommend that customers who care about where their food comes from and how it is produced visit their local Butcher.  

NCB Legislative Director and Abattoir Sector Group Vice Chair John Mettrick noted the report’s recommendation that, ‘The Government should conduct a review of small abattoirs to ensure that the capacity exists to serve the expected increase in numbers of farms using livestock in their rotations.’ John added “This is a critical issue which must be addressed and is one we have been campaigning on for some time, most recently as part of the Abattoir Sector Group. Local supply chains are vital to flexibility and food security and Small Local Abattoirs are a vital link in this chain”

NCB would therefore go further and recommend a specific strategy to develop and support local and regional food systems, with greater investment in short supply chain infrastructure, as a key part of the National Food Strategy’s wider plan for healthy and sustainable food. This strategy would also deliver lower food miles and shorter transport times for animals.

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