To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of giving people a monthly allowance to spend on fresh, healthy and locally sourced food in a bid to (a) tackle obesity and (b) support the farming industry.
There are existing schemes that support the consumption of healthy food. For example, the Healthy Start scheme provides vouchers for lower income families which can be used to buy, or be put towards the cost of, fruit, vegetables, milk and infant formula.
In addition, Defra has commissioned its lead non-executive director, Henry Dimbleby, to lead an independent review to develop a series of recommendations that will help shape a national food strategy. It will cover the entire food chain from field to fork, building on work already underway in the Agriculture Bill, the Environment Bill, the Fisheries Bill and the Childhood Obesity Plan. This will help ensure that our food system delivers healthy and affordable food and is built upon a resilient and sustainable agriculture sector.