We want the widest possible national engagement, to help inform the review and shape the strategy. To that end, we will have:
A Citizens’ Assembly
We will be creating a Citizens’ Assembly, randomly selected but weighted to reflect regional and national demographics. This assembly will listen to testimony from experts, debate the issues and advise us on their findings.
A Young Persons’ Assembly
In parallel, we will create a less formally structured Young Persons’ Assembly, bringing together citizens who are below voting age to express their views. Their input will also be used to inform the Citizens’ Assembly.
Food system discussions
We want to encourage people across the country, from different backgrounds, to discuss what our nation wants from its food system. We will make this happen in three ways: by holding our own town hall meetings, to which we will invite people and directly facilitate the discussions; by running the same process but for specific groups, who are not normally involved in policy making; and by creating materials that individuals and organisations across the country can use to host their own conversations, and encouraging them to do so.
We are staging these discussions for two reasons. First, because we believe that the discussions themselves will lead to all sorts of ideas for local change being implemented without the need for any government intervention; and second, because we want to capture the good ideas that emerge from them. We will be launching a section of our website to do just that.
We will be holding focus groups with those for whom the current food system is not working – farmers struggling to get by, people affected by diabetes or other diet related diseases, those finding it difficult to put a healthy meal on the table for their families – to better understand their issues.
An extensive programme of visits
Finally we will be conducting a series of visits across the country to see how our food system works, and to hear first-hand from those working in the system and those affected by it.