British poultry meat businesses call for a Food Strategy that bolsters Britain’s food supply and ‘leaves no one behind’ at the British Poultry Council’s Annual Reception and Awards at the House of Commons on 4 December.
British poultry meat farmers and producers up and down the country called on the Government to ensure that British food, and the quality it represents, stays affordable and available for all consumers at every price point.
BPC chairman John Reed and the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries George Eustice launched BPC’s Vision 2019: a report highlighting the role of responsible businesses in helping deliver a food strategy that leaves no one behind.
Speaking at the annual reception, BPC Chairman, John Reed, said: “As we look forward to the much-awaited Government Food Strategy, we want the start a conversation about the role of responsible businesses in delivering a food system that leaves no one behind. Maintaining a secure supply of food is essential to feeding the nation. Whilst we must ensure that we have access to the labour we need and frictionless trade, we want to explore the role of responsible businesses in food security.
“On one hand we are among the most affordable nations in the world for food, and on the other we have seen a year-on-year increase in the use of foodbanks. British food must be at the forefront of fixing that dichotomy. Now is the time for responsible businesses that place strength, growth, and purpose at the heart of everything they do, to come forward and help deliver a food strategy that is built on a sustainable, secure, and trusted supply of food for all, produced to world-class standards.
“With the economic and social pressures being created by Brexit, access to food will become one of our nation’s biggest challenges. If we cannot find a solution to labour (60% of our workforce is non-UK) and trade (the value of our exports has an effect on UK prices) then we run the risk of creating a two-tier food system with the average citizen forced to rely on imported food.”
The event was attended by a number of parliamentarians including: George Eustice, Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries; Neil Parish MP for Tiverton and Honiton; Tom Watson, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; David Drew, Shadow Farming Minister; Sir David Amess, Chair of All-Party Food and Health Forum; Baroness McIntosh of Pickering, Former Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Alex Sobel MP, Member of the Environmental Audit and Backbench Business Committee; Lord Cotter, Former Member of the EU Internal Market Sub-Committee; The Rt Hon the Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone, Former Secretary of State for Health; Chris Davies MP, Vice Chair of the APPG on Dairy and on Eggs, Pigs and Poultry; Rt Hon Mark Tami MP; Colin Clark MP; Jim Shannon MP, Chair of the APPG on Eggs, Pigs and Poultry; and David Simpson MP, Shadow Spokesperson for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
The annual reception and awards also celebrated the exceptional contribution of some of the people working within the poultry meat sector, from those just starting their careers to those who have given distinguished service over a long period. BPC Chairman John Reed was joined by Neil Parish MP to present the 2018 BPC Awards.
This year’s BPC Award winners were:
- Distinguished Service: John Reed, Chairman, British Poultry Council
- Distinguished Service: Colin Taylor, Turkey Group Manager, Moy Park
- Distinguished Service: Ann Taylor, Financial Controller, British Poultry Council
- Special Merit: Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD)
- Student Scholarship of the Year: Alexandra Royden, PhD student, University of Liverpool