New survey: lockdown leaves industry hungry for fair food and farming recovery

Farming Monthly National|June 2020

New survey: lockdown leaves industry hungry for fair food and farming recovery
New research with over 380 professionals working in food, farming and the countryside finds a huge appetite for change and collaboration across the sector. In Learning from Lockdown, a major new survey from the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission, 80% of respondents wanted most things to be different in the recovery. None wanted everything to go back to how it was before.

The findings find some pride in how food businesses and farmers adapted to a shock that few businesses had planned for. Yet it also reveals that industry, public servants and community groups are eager to reset Britain's relationship with our food, farming and countryside.

The survey shows a widespread desire for more collaboration and diversity, particularly through investment in shorter supply chains, as crucial to sustainable economic recovery.

70% or respondents say that the changes they want are possible by working together. This is despite most (59%) expecting recession and business failures to have a bigger long-term impact than recent changes in behaviour and values, such as cooking more from scratch or attitudes to nature.

Investing directly in communities and local businesses is a core theme throughout. 90% support shorter, local food supply chains, more diverse food UK production and better rural services, especially broadband and connectivity. 85% want better pay and conditions for land-based work. 70% want more power and resources devolved to local governments and communities.

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June 2020