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THE bakers’ union’s right to food campaign was backed by delegates at the TUC’s annual Congress today.
BFAWU’s motion — passed without opposition — said a right to affordable, nutritious food must be enshrined in law, as up to 11 million people suffer from food poverty in Britain.
The move, backed by the British Dietetic Association and Unite, would “clarify government obligations on food poverty” and introduce legal avenues to hold minsters to account, the groups stressed.
The motion comes after Henry Dimbleby, co-founder of fast food chain Leon, published his national food strategy in July.
Commissioned by the Tory government in 2019, its stated aim was to transform England’s food system “from farm to fork” to prevent food poverty and align the nation’s diet with climate change goals.
Mr Dimbleby’s report did not recommend a statutory right to food, but it did call for the protection of British food standards after Brexit and the extension of free school meals.
Today’s motion backed these proposals, adding unions must be consulted ahead of the government’s imminent food strategy white paper.
A demand to tackle supply chain inequality and ensure profits go to “impoverished food workers, not just investors,” was also included.
BFAWU general secretary Sarah Woolley, who was elected to the TUC general council today, said: “The [Covid-19] pandemic has shone a light on the real key workers in this country; not the bosses, not the shareholders or the millionaires — the people on the front line.
“Those struggling to make ends meet while propping our country up through the toughest 18 months any of us have ever experienced.
“We can’t allow them to be failed any longer.”
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