Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment
Hungry for change: fixing the failures in food

Report of Session 2019-21 - published 6 July 2020 - HL Paper 85



Chapter 1: Introduction

The inquiry and the Committee’s work

Box 1: A note on definitions

Chapter 2: The current situation

The food system at a glance

Figure 1: Breakdown of Gross Value Added (GVA) per food sector and employment figures per sector

Figure 2: UK Trade in different food groups, 2018

Figure 3: UK grocery market shares, 2017/18

Diet and health

Health inequalities

Figure 4: Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy by age, sex and deprivation decile in England, 2016-18

Diet and food production

Current Government intervention

Childhood Obesity Plans

Agriculture Bill

National Food Strategy

The ‘real’ cost of food


Chapter 3: Poverty and food insecurity

Box 2: Experiences of food insecurity

Measurements of poverty

Figure 5: Number and proportion of adults and children in relative and absolute poverty, before and after housing costs, UK, 2018/19

COVID-19 and poverty

Food insecurity

Box 3: Experiences of food insecurity

COVID-19 and food insecurity

Measuring food insecurity

‘Food poverty’: a misnomer

Box 4: Experiences of food insecurity

Hunger and food banks

Box 5: Experiences of food insecurity

Universal Credit and hunger

People with no recourse to public funds

Difficulty accessing a healthy diet

Affordability of healthy diets

Figure 6: The 13 main categories of average weekly household expenditure, UK, 2018/19

Figure 7: Average weekly household expenditure on the 33 main categories of foods, UK, 2018/19

What is the cost of a healthy diet?

Figure 8: The Eatwell Guide

Risks and priorities

Practical barriers to accessing a healthy diet

‘Emotional bandwidth’

Box 6: Why don’t people just make soup?

Chapter 4: The food environment

An in-built system failure

Experiences of the food environment

Measures to address the food environment

A critical consensus

Table 1: Progress of proposals in Chapter 2, Childhood Obesity: a plan for action (July 2018)

Suggested interventions to improve the food environment

Government food programmes

The Healthy Start Scheme

Free school meals

Box 7: Experiences of food insecurity

Box 8: Experiences of food insecurity

Public procurement

The marketing and promotion of food

Fast food outlets

Box 9: Experiences of food insecurity


Education and public health messaging

Chapter 5: Reformulation and regulation

Existing reformulation measures

Voluntary reformulation programmes

Salt reduction

Sugar reduction

Voluntary reformulation programmes: conclusions

Mandatory reformulation

The Industry View

Barriers to reformulation

Creating a level playing field

Portion sizes

The case for reformulation: conclusions

Chapter 6: Food and the natural environment

Impact of food production on the environment

Figure 9: Percentages of UK pollution from ammonia and greenhouse gases derived from agriculture in 2017

What is a sustainable food system?

The Agriculture Bill

The case for a dietary shift

Food production and public health

Financial support for horticulture

Resilience and continuity of supply


Production efficiencies

Research and Development

Food industry reporting

Food waste

Chapter 7: Governance, accountability and food policy

Setting an ambition for the food system

National Food Strategy: England



Monitoring and accountability

The ‘right to food’

Co-ordination of food policy

Summary of conclusions and recommendations

Appendix 1: List of Members and declarations of interest

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

Appendix 4: Acronyms and abbreviations

Appendix 5: Experiences of food insecurity

Appendix 6: Leeds Visit

Evidence is published online at and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives (020 7219 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence.

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