The Food Party manifesto

For the past 50 years the main political parties have taken food for granted, allowing our weekly shop to go from locally grown, natural food to become air freighted and processed beyond recognition. They have all put issues, which create sound bites, above issues that create bites which are sound, nourishing generations to come. Gone is the knowledge of where food has been or where it can go. We used to know what to put on our plate to fill our belly and nourish our soul, now we are spoon fed convenience food and encouraged to always want more, of everything.

I say enough. The time has come for a radical alternative – a party which builds its policies around the very thing that builds our hearts and minds. Food. After all, you only get out what you put in.

What we will do, if elected.


Catering and student kitchens installed in all primary schools.

All lunches, for children of primary school age must be cooked school premises – from scratch. Lessons in cookery added to the National Curriculum for all children between the ages of 5 and 14.

Government enforced seasonality. Certain foods (indigenous [1] to the UK) will only be available for certain periods of time. This will make the public more aware of where their food comes from, enable them to enjoy produce when it is at its best and discourage importing food out of season. E.g. Strawberries – May- September. Apples – June-March.
[1] Indigenous is products that can be grown in a UK climate, without the use of intensive techniques.

15% of ‘new’ Universities converted to Universities of Food, offering degree courses in traditional food production techniques – baking, butchery, bee keeping etc


Ban gross profit on food of more than 90%

Min unit price for Alcohol

Vacant council/government properties will be incentivised by way of grants, to be converted to restaurants/cafés/bars

Trade & Industry

20% of all supermarket’s (stores over 280 metres square – sufficient size to adhere to Sunday trading laws) stock must originate with 50 miles of the store.

Ban commercial (net/dredge) fishing in UK waters for 5 years – after 3 years phased back in with strict quotas, for years 4 & 5. Line fishing is allowed.

Everyone whose postcode is within 20 miles of the coast, will be issued with a fishing licence, rod and reel and those remaining will receive (of equal value) a discount off air rifles. Every sustainable species of fish caught (MSC certified)/grey squirrel/pigeon (condition must be deemed as saleable) which is deposited at any designated shop, will be offset against your council tax

Restaurants must serve tap water before taking patrons order. Soft drinks must have a gross profit of no more than 50%


Any company producing goods with higher than 20% sugar content (glucose, sucrose, dextrose) must pay 1% of turnover

Supermarkets and off licences have higher duty than pubs, on beer, wine & spirits.


Livestock for meat/dairy production must spend no less than 30% of life outside.

Chicken production must have a density no higher that 12 per square metre (current intensive is 17)

Battery eggs illegal

UK wool production will be subsidised.

Meat importation can only amount to 40% of exportation.

We welcome additions to our manifesto from members and non-members alike.

7 comments on “The Food Party manifesto”

  1. Thomas's comment - added on 9th of April, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    provide easier access to, and adequate training for, the hunting/gathering, preparation and appreciation of nationally and locally produced food both a) animal and b) vegetable:

    a1) create “Hunt Your Own” farms, where, accompanied by a gamekeeper, citizens can gain a better appreciation of where (some types of) their meat comes from, what it takes to kill an animal for your own consumption, and what it means to waste or over-consume animal/meat products, re-learn what fresh, free-range food tastes like and how it should be handled/prepared.

    a2) encourage homeowners to raise meat (pigs, chickens, ducks, rabbits) for their own consumption.

    b1) tax incentives for dedication of land in urban and suburban areas to natural/rural/small agricultural use: gardens, arboreta, parks, allotments; tax incentives to families cultivating their own crops and food as an offset of transportation and infrastructure costs associated with the food supply chain.

    b2) turning over of 15% of school sports grounds and/or municipal common land to agriculture and food production, with small-scale cultivation techniques as part of national curriculum. Crops produced by local schools would supply school catering system and local authority-run establishments in the community – such as sheltered housing for the aged, hospitals (following usual sanitary checks and procedures), centres for the homeless, and so on.

    In addition, and with particular respect for the education system:

    Learn from European counterparts and vary school diet from primary school age to also include non-“child friendly” ingredients such as legumes, green leaf vegetables, offal, onions/garlic, et al. Overcome hurdles of habit while children are young.

    Alongside “petting zoos”, encourage school trips for older children to visit abattoirs, dairy farms and crop farms where food is produced and processed on an industrial scale for profit to ensure transparency and greater awareness of all issues from food content to GMOs, legislation, profitability, land use, intensivity, etc.

    On a separate point:

    Encourage moderate consumption of alcohol as an accompaniment to meals rather than as a self-contained form of entertainment: methods might include two tier price structure for alcoholic beverages at pubs and bars, with a slightly cheaper price for alcohol if purchased with food (not crisps); pub/bar license holders to be required to pass food preparation test before being granted license; higher tax rates for establishments not serving a proper menu; incentives for British equivalents to “tapas”-style eating/drinking, with small “snack” amounts of food free (or heavily subsidised) with drinks purchased – also, re-introduce traditions such as pickled eggs, whelk/eel sellers, pie shops, etc; in urban areas, allow “no-food” pub licenses only in proximity of proper food establishments; encourage traditional and imported “fast-food” establishments (fish and chips, pie shops, kebab/falaffel shops, etc) to offer decent seating areas, or allow food purchased or prepared elsewhere to be consumed in pubs to discourage late night, predominantly male, alcohol-related street-eating.

  2. sophie dakin's comment - added on 21st of April, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    how are the restaurants that open in the empty government buildings supposed to survive if you limit the GP they can make? If you cut the GP on drinks (which is where the money is) food prices will go up because restaurants use their soft drinks GP to susidise their food GP. Don’t confuse dislike of the catering industry with the desire to re-educate people about food.

  3. benD's comment - added on 21st of April, 2010 at 4:41 pm

    The official party line on this subject is thus; The aim of the limit of gross profits on soft drinks is to encourage families to eat out, without incurring bills that make it prohibitive. The tax-breaks and grants go some way to cushion the initial years of trade. Also the lowering of tax on alcohol, that licensed premises are subject to, will contribute to profits. We do not dislike the catering industry, but we prefer to encourage people see their food operation as a community resource not a cash cow for the individual.

  4. jo T's comment - added on 24th of April, 2010 at 11:04 am

    My restaurants sales were in excess of £2.5M last year, I declared a GP of 64%. I, like Sophie, rely on the GP of beverages to make my business viable.
    I run restaurants that serve honest, quality food. We have a well thought out, ethical and sustainable approach to sourcing and route to market. We believe in great food, cooked here, using the best quality, fresh, seasonal ingredients. We believe in our people and the food we create, and are the types that care about our customers not othe types that get caught up chasing stars & accolades.
    I pay all my staff (74 of them) well over minimum wage as I believe that they are worth it. My labour cost was therefore 42% of my sales.
    I spent 7% on crockery, napkins, laundry, uniform, marketing, printing etc.
    I spent 12% on rates, utilities, business banking costs etc. This was a 5% saving on the year previous through energy saving measures.
    I invested the best part of £20K in the sourcing and providing external training and development for my team.
    With all this done, I converted roughly 3% of my sales to profit last year, which for the most part go covering the costs of the HQ support functions and to cover the cost of all my internal training.
    Is our focus “being a cash cow for the individual”?
    Do we meet your standard of what’s right?
    By reducing my drinks prices, I would need to compromise elsewhere.
    Where would you like me to make these cuts? Staff wages? Make some of them redundant perhaps? Reduce the amount I spend on training? Buy poorer quality products? Make the staff buy their own uniforms?

    Too often we are viewed as the corporate big boys making a mountain of money by paying people poorly and serving cheap food. I appreciate it’s hard to see the full workings of a profession when having never worked in it, but don’t paint us all with the same brush.
    I’m proud of what I do, and how we (my company) do it. I’m proud of our focus and priorities.
    I’m proud to work for the 3rd biggest caterer in the World.

  5. benD's comment - added on 24th of April, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I’m not sure where the idea that I’m anti catering industry comes from? I don’t want to get rid of what we have, I want to encourage more cafés, restaurants and bars. Whilst the capital may be littered with the afore mentioned emporiums, the rest of the country is dependent on big chains for their dining-out experience and it’s this I want to change. As we stand we don’t have a restaurant culture – we have a fast food and occasional treat culture, the mass populous cannot afford to eat out more than once in a while, anywhere other than (maybe) a ‘we deep fry from frozen’ pub. I would love our future to be one of whole families eating out at a choice of affordable neighbourhood eateries.
    As far as the whole GP thing goes. I made two statements on the subject, the no more than 90% GP on food refers to supermarket’s profits – not restaurants. And the GP on soft drinks refers only to soft drinks. There is no limit on GP on alcohol, in fact there would be a decrease in tax on alcohol for licensed premises, so profits could increase, that coupled with a minimum unit price, should discourage people from buying cheap booze from supermarkets – helping the pub trade, the breweries and restaurants.
    By the figures you have given, you spend £300,000 on rates, utilities and business banking – there would be a decrease (at least to start with) in rates for catering, both big and small, along with grants and burseries to help people become established.
    It’s called the food party precisely because it wants to get people eating good food, thinking about what they eat and expanding industries that reflect that – it’s not called the ‘we don’t like you if you make money or are successful’ party.
    I do stand by my ‘community resource not a cash cow for the individual’ statement, and with profits of 3%, your operation is obviously not the latter. If you can think of better policies which would alter the balance of the way society operates, to the betterment of food producers, consumers and operators, then please add it to the manifesto.

  6. benD's comment - added on 24th of April, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Also by bringing down the GP/price of soft drinks you encourage people to consume more. How many times have you sat on a 250ml bottle of Diet Coke, nursing it, because you didn’t want to fork out another £1.99 for a second drink? And wouldn’t you prefer people to shun their newsagents, who are still selling it for £1.25 a bottle, and come into the restaurant because they know it’s cheaper? Higher footfall means more chance of impulse food purchases and 20p profit is 20p that wouldn’t have been there before! I don’t mean tea and coffee as soft drinks BTW – I refer only to cold and carbonated non-alcoholic beverages.

  7. sophie dakin's comment - added on 25th of April, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    it doesn’t matter of people are consuming more if you still end up making the same profit-which you would be if your GP was lower! and i don’t get the whole shun newsagents but support community logic? they charge higher prices because they do not have the buying power as supermarkets-because they are small LOCAL businesses. plus if you are not against people being successful why do you want to change the fact that their are big brands to go to? small restaurants are never going to be the affordable option for most families because (and i hate to repeat myself) THEY DO NOT HAVE THE BUYING POWER so their prices will always be higher. it isn’t as simple as you think.