The project, set up by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Minister Jim Paice, seeks to feed the ever-expanding world population using less energy and water and introducing new technology, while influencing consumer choice.
The BHA is now part of the steering group for the project, along with 13 others bodies including the National Farmers Union, the Food and Drink Federation and the British Retail Consortium.
“The Green Food Project has pointed out that the dual challenge of improving our environment and increasing food production cannot be fully met without considering sustainable consumption more fully,” said John Dyson, the BHA’s food and technical affairs adviser.
“There’s also a gap in the knowledge and skills in this area.
“We will be convening a forum of leading members from across the hospitality and food service sector, including People 1st, the sector skills council, and the colleges, to develop an approach to promote skills and professionalism in sustainable consumption.”
Force for good
Tony Cooke, government relations director of Sodexo, which represented the BHA on the steering group, added: “The hospitality and foodservice sector can be a powerful force for good in supporting consumers to make more sustainable choices.
“But there is currently too wide a gap in performance on sustainability between the best and worst within the sector. With the BHA we look forward to working with the steering group to improve consumer choice in sustainable products.”
The project consists of five sub-groups, looking at specific areas within the British food system - wheat, dairy, bread, curry and geographical areas - with an overall aim to ‘reconcile how we will achieve our goals of improving the environment and increasing good production’.
Last month, the Government, within its new Natural Environment White Paper ‘The Natural Choice’ committed to take forward a practical initiative to scope out and address the key issues faced by the natural environment within the English food system.
In the White Paper, DEFRA recognised that the scale of the challenge meant that no one group or sector could tackle it alone, committing to working jointly with the food, farming, retail and hospitality industries, and environmental and consumer sector.
For more information on the Green Food project, visit www.defra.gov.uk/food-farm/food/environment/