IFST has set out its challenges for Brexit (see http://www.ifst.org/news/ifsts-brexit-challenges), on maintaining access to skills, research funding and collaboration to ensure a competitive and innovative food system. Specifically, we have called for:
- A fit-for purpose legislative framework.
- Research funding of an appropriate level to drive scientific discovery and innovation
- Government, academia and industry UK food system have access to appropriate skills in food science and technology
- Supply of sufficient safe, affordable, nutritious and sustainable food
Some news to date has been positive – researchers have been guaranteed research funding for successful bids, e.g. under Horizon 2020, beyond the date of departure from the EU. However, longer term involvement terms for EU research participation is uncertain, as is the access to skills and people required for the science and innovation needs of researchers and the food industry, and what the future legislative environment will consist of post-Brexit. The government has published a paper outlining its broad ambitions in the research areas, “Collaboration on science and innovation – a future partnership paper” (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/collaboration-on-science-and-innovation-a-future-partnership-paper); details are currently vague. For the IFST response to this paper see here.
What IFST is doing about it
IFST is co-organising (with nutrition organisations, British Nutrition Foundation, Nutrition Society, and British Dietetics Association) a Brexit summit, due to be held in early November, to explore the likely impact of Brexit on UK food regulations and the regulatory environment. While this event is invite only, we will produce a joint report for publication after the event.
The Eastern Branch of IFST is hosting a public meeting on Brexit on 19 October, which is open to attendance by all (for details see https://www.ifst.org/events/food-regulations-post-brexit-%E2%80%93-have-...). Output from this meeting will be taken to the November summit to assist in discussions and decisions at that event.