#BrumElliott session 3 – Birmingham, the eyes and ears for the UK?

Elliott Review

What resources are needed to make change happen? What changes in the way we work together would need to take place?

Education – first, an acceptance has to be made that there is a problem. The food industry needs to link issues of food crime with the health and wellbeing agenda. Education in schools is key. Jamie Oliver tried to fix school meals and met huge blocks to making progress. Progress has been made, but it has been a huge effort.

Practical skills in schools – cooking, old-style home economics

Minimum / fixed pricing

Better collaboration and communication

DNA testing

Legislation

The system needs to be simple. Not too many agencies

Resources

More training for food businesses before they start to operate, perhaps even a licence scheme, but there is reluctance from the industry to go down this road. It is too easy to open a food establishment. Opening a food establishment is so different from, say, opening a shoe shop. So many other responsibilities and issues to consider.

Business and local authorities must have a grown-up, mature relationship. Businesses are the victims of food fraud and crime as well as the consumer

What technologies might need to be employed that are different from those in use today?

Digital technology can play a part, eg apps and social media, but not everyone has access to this.

Other points

As a society, people in the UK are so far removed from the food they eat. Reconnecting consumers to the food network is vital to shift what is acceptable in that network

Political will to tackle food issues at a local level is wavering. People don’t go to their local councillor complaining about food crime – they assume that things are being done to tackle this and to keep food safe. This goes back to making it very plain that there IS a problem that needs addressing

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