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Supporting local food systems could create 200,000 jobs and help restore nature

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Ben Reynolds, deputy chief executive of Sustain, said: “UK farmers, food producers and the public could all benefit by increased opportunities to buy local food if the Government acts now and invests in the much-needed infrastructure and commits to policies that drive change. “One in seven jobs in this country is in food and farming, so it deserves the support it needs to thrive.”

Their report comes ahead of the Government’s anticipated National Food Strategy which is expected to make recommendations on food production.

Local food systems allow for a larger proportion of revenues to be retained in the local economy.

A shift to more localised food systems would help “level up the country” with every part of the UK having the potential to benefit, the charities said.

Lucy Bjorck, a Senior Policy Advisor at the RSPB said: “By shifting more of our food retail to local, nature-friendly sources, the Government could help restore nature to the countryside and tackle climate change.

“A thriving local food economy supports diverse farming systems which bring benefits for nature by sustaining a diversity of habitats and management. 

“By offering produce with lower production emissions local food systems can cut our carbon footprint, reconnect people with seasonal eating and reduce waste.”

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