Area of Focus: Food
From farm to fork, food is critical to achieving Wales’ well-being goals for the health of our people and our planet.
Over the next seven years, we will focus on issues that connect and contribute simultaneously to all five of our missions. The first area of focus will be on our food system.
Carbon emissions from agriculture are projected to increase, while the food system is a contributor to nature loss and global deforestation. We waste food at an unsustainable rate and rising food costs and escalating levels of diet-related illness, including obesity, along with climate change and insecure global food supply chains, pose huge long-term challenges to Wales’ well-being and our ability to feed current and future generations.
The fact that Wales’ food security is heavily reliant on the UK and global food systems should not prevent us from taking action where we can. Wales needs a resilient, long-term plan that shifts agricultural impact towards having a positive outcome on climate and nature restoration, ensuring safe, affordable, healthy diets for people, especially children.
Rural and farming communities are a big part of the solution – they are integral to feeding Wales, protecting nature and are part of our vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language.
Public services must use their levers for change, for example, doing more to facilitate community growing and sustainable land use, considering the wider implications of planning decisions on communities and nature, providing the framework of farming subsidies and grants and understanding the local and global impact of food spending.
There are several opportunities around food which will help Wales to achieve its well-being goals:
- The growth of agro-ecological farming practices and the emphasis on climate change and nature protection within Wales’ first Agriculture Act.
- A growing momentum around community food, linked to local supply chains for school and hospital meals.
- An increasing interest within public bodies and Public Services Boards to develop local, cross-sector food partnerships and invest in local, sustainable food production and consumption.
Through a focus on food, we will involve the public, private and voluntary sectors in our plans to:
- Advocate for Welsh Government to develop a long-term food strategy framed within the Well-being of Future Generations Act.
- Work with public bodies and Public Services Boards to integrate sustainable food policies within their well-being plans, including developing community food plans.
- Ensure all five of our missions contribute to long-term systems-planning around food resilience.