UK/NL intensify collaboration on food sustainability

The British and Dutch governments intensified their collaboration on food sustainability by signing a letter of intent and agreeing to co-host a seminar on food waste later this year.

On 16 September, the British and Dutch governments signed a letter of intent, marking the beginning of their partnership in promoting a sustainable food system. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) of the United Kingdom and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I) of the Netherlands agreed to work together on a food system, building on the many parallels of UK and Dutch policy views on food sustainability. The letter was signed by Mr Brian Harding, Director Food Chain, Bovine TB and Endemic Diseases who represented UK's Defra while Ms Alida Oppers signed the letter on behalf of the Dutch EL&I. 

As a first step towards implementing this partnership, Defra and EL&I will establish a platform for UK-Netherlands policy dialogue to exchange views on food sustainability. Defra and EL&I will hold a policy meeting every six months in which they identify areas for cooperation, plan joint actions and discuss progress.

Additionally, Defra and EL&I have agreed to co-host a seminar on food waste to explore the challenges, identify best practices, discuss knowledge gaps and consider where cooperation might be most useful. This seminar will take place later this year with participation from leading experts from the UK and the Netherlands.

The challenge is how to achieve lasting food security: producing enough food to meet growing demand while ensuring the sustainability of the food system. This requires concerted efforts at national, European, and global levels. Recognising the need to work beyond national boundaries and building on the shared ambitions of UK and Dutch food policy, Defra and EL&I agreed to work together in order to share knowledge and best practices to improve food sustainability.