2021 in news: review of the year’s biggest headlines

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AUTHOR: Stef Bottinelli contributor: Fiona Holland
Illustration of Daily newspaper in hands and coffee

What a year this has been! Before we say goodbye to it, we take a look at 2021 in news: all the biggest headlines and all the stories you’ve read the most on Food Matters Live, month by month.

January

UK Government updates guidance on health and nutrition claims

Following the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31, 2020, and theUK and the EU starting to operate two separate legal and regulatory systems, the UK government updated its guidance for food businesses around health and nutrition claims.
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February

Westminster criticised over food security and poverty

In February academics Tim Lang, Terry Marsden and Erik Millstone openly criticised the UK Government over ‘Neo-Victorian’ levels of food poverty and for failing to safeguard the country’s food supply and security. In an open letter they urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to invest in adequate infrastructure to ensure food security for the future.
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March

Dieticians welcome funding for obesity services

In March the British Dietetic Association (BDA) welcomed the UK government announcement of additional funding for obesity services. The plan outlined by the government pledged £100 million to support children, adults and families achieve and maintain a healthier weight and appointed Sir Keith Mills to advise on a new incentives and reward scheme to promote a healthier behaviour around nutrition.
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April

Seafood and meat businesses might move to Europe or stop exporting due to Brexit red tape, EFRA report states

A report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee published in April urged the UK Government to enter into further discussions with the EU about border checks and red-tape requirements when trading with Europe.
The report found that non-tariff barriers were affecting the British seafood and meat industry – in particular small and medium-sized seafood and meat enterprises – who were no longer finding trading with the EU a viable option.
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May

Beyond Meat launches five-year plant-based diet study at the Stanford University School of Medicine

In May plant-based meat company Beyond Meat, Inc. launched the Plant-Based Diet Initiative Fund at the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The five-year initiative provides peer-reviewed, clinically-significant studies on the plant-based diet effects on human health, and include research on the consumption of vegan meat. 
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June

Meatless Farm launches £5m crowdfunding campaign

Meatless Farm launched a crowdfunding campaign on investment platform Crowdcube, in the hope to raise £5m. The plant-based company’s customers had the opportunity to invest as little as £10. Meatless Farm stated that it planned to use the raised capital to invest in product innovation.
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July

Government’s National Food Strategy proposes to introduce salt tax, reformulate the sugar tax and cut down on animal protein

The millionaire founder of restaurant chain Leon, Henry Dimbleby, was tasked by Boris Johnson to make recommendations on the reduction of fat, sugar, salt and red meat consumption as part of the Government’s National Food Strategy, published in July.
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Fully vaccinated ‘pinged’ food and drink sector workers will no longer have to self-isolate

The Government announced that ‘pinged’ food and drink sector employees would no longer have to self-isolate if they showed a negative COVID-19 test result and were double vaccinated.
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August

Scientists create world’s first 3D-printed, lab-grown Wagyu beef steak

Scientists at Osaka University developed a technique to create the world’s first 3D-printed, lab-grown Wagyu beef steak using bovine stem cells.
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September

Jay Z boosts plant-based cheese brand Misha’s Kind Foods with latest investment

Plant-based cheese start-up Misha’s Kind Foods raised $3M in its seed investment round with the help of music mogul Jay-Z.
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Food and beverage industry calls for CO2 subsides as price of carbon dioxide soars

The food and beverage industry called for the UK Government to help with the rising cost of CO2, as shortages of carbon dioxide would be catastrophic for both the sector and consumers.
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October

Natasha’s Law: new food labelling legislation comes into effect

From 1 October 2021, food companies have had to adhere to stricter food labelling rules in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The law requires all food that is pre-packed for direct sale (PPDS) must display a label with a full ingredient list including the 14 allergens. Allergens include milk, fish, tree nuts, crustaceans, cereals containing gluten, eggs, peanuts, celery, soybean, lupin, molluscs, mustard, sesame, sulphur dioxide and sulphites.
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November

Whole Foods: Top 10 Food Trends for 2022

In its seventh year, the Whole Foods Trends report predicted that ultraurban farming, yuzu, reducetarianism (reducing, but not fully eliminating, the consumption of animal products, such as meat, dairy, fish and eggs), buzz-less spirits (no or low alcohol), moringa and sunflower seeds would take 2022 by storm.
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December

Naylor Farms set to open new factory to turn cabbage into protein for the plant-based meat market

Naylor Farms, one of the biggest cabbage growers in Europe, launched a planning permission application to build a new processing plant in Lincolnshire, to be used to extract protein from cabbage to be used in plant-based meat.
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