Friends of the Earth UK has given the UK government a D grade on its end-of-term report card just one year after the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Minister Caroline Spelman promised action on livestock.
In March 2011, UK environment minister Spelman told delegates at the Sustainable Livestock Symposium that her ministry would “play its part” in making the UK livestock sector more sustainable.
While Friends of the Earth recognises that “some progress has been made” in researching soy alternatives for animal feed, the NGO remains critical of Westminster’s lack of progress in other areas. The government “must do better” at ensuring the food procurement in government, schools, hospitals and other publicly-administered establishments support both sustainable livestock and greener diets.
A year ago, the Government Buying Standards were under review. But the new standards that finally emerged missed an opportunity to promote better standards or healthier diets, let alone sustainable menus.
FOE is critical of the lack of any cogent leadership on healthy, sustainable diets, as well as its inaction on helping farmers to sell directly to consumers, which would offer both sides a fairer deal.
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