Food Supply and Security - Motion to Consider

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:58 pm on 14th May 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Verma Baroness Verma Chair, EU Goods Sub-Committee, Chair, EU Goods Sub-Committee 1:58 pm, 14th May 2020

My Lords, I thank the noble Baroness, Lady Boycott, for opening the debate and covering a wide range of issues for us to discuss. I want to focus on a couple of points. First, given noble Lords’ understanding of the importance of nutrition, maybe we need to think about reintroducing classes in domestic science and cookery so that children can understand the value of food and what goes into a meal. I hope that my noble friend the Minister will consider speaking to colleagues in the Department for Education to explore the idea of bringing good-quality food and local produce to children from an early age.

I agree with the noble Baroness that buying local is important, as is ensuring that we support our local small shops and farming communities. However, as we come out of this pandemic and continue to import our foods from export markets in the developing world, will the Minister also ensure that we work closely with those farming communities, signing up to fair prices so that their economies can also grow fairly and ensuring that their working practices are in line with the value systems and value chains to which we attach great importance in this country?

No one should be a loser from the pandemic. My concern is that, while we are supportive of our own industry, others who need this growth in their economies do not miss out.