Food policy has to be driven by customers if it is to be successful, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Reacting to the Government’s Food 2030 paper published today, the BRC said retailers are constantly working with customers and suppliers to improve what they offer, how they offer it and how it’s produced.

The paper includes a review of progress on the issues set out in the Cabinet Office paper Food Matters, published a year ago which admits several projects identified then will not now be achieved by the promised dates. The BRC said simply moving those dates does not inspire confidence.

BRC food policy director Andrew Opie said: “Food policy has to take customers with it. Without their buy-in no plan will work.

“We do need a sustainable supply chain but retailers don’t need Government statements to wake them up to these issues – they are already taking action.

“Their track record in areas such as  animal welfare and nutritional labelling, carbon reduction, offering customers healthy affordable food and  working with producers on securing supplies and improving the efficiency of all parts of the chain – shows retailers have long been at the forefront of this agenda.

“What we need is joined up policy with Government agreeing what it wants from food across all its departments and agencies.”