KNOWING where exactly the food on your plate in a restaurant comes from and wanting to tackle malnutrition in society, surely aren’t bad priorities?

For too long, not enough people have asked "why aren’t we doing more to get rid of malnutrition?", "where is this food from?", and other tough socio-economic questions.

I believe it’s our moral duty to ask these pertinent questions.

And it’s because I believe in Wales’ future, that I am passionate about ensuring the future sustainability of local produce.

Ultimately, local produce contributes to healthy lifestyles, job growth and tackles malnutrition.

This non-partisan cause is something that all parties, regardless of political leaning, can – and should – rally behind.

And now, there is a rare opportunity within our reach that needs grasping by all politicians to strengthen the use of local food.

My Member Legislative Proposal – the Food (Wales) Bill – has been selected for further debate that involves members of the Senedd bringing forward draft laws in their own right.

At the very heart of my proposed Bill is ensuring the use of local food, creating local jobs and stimulating local economies across Wales.

But before unleashing the true potential of our local producers, we firstly need to ensure their sustainability long term.

The Bill would tackle this head on by supplying the necessary financial support and incentives to local producers, with an aim to boost local production – thus helping to achieve our food security.

READ MORE: BAME Welsh recipe book nominated for international award

Injecting confidence and aspiration into local producers are exactly what is needed.

After all, it is a stark reality that our country is currently only 54 per cent self-sufficient in fresh vegetables.

There can be no qualms: this trend needs to be reversed, and our country unleashed to allow us to be more self-sufficient.

Another key pillar of my plan is requiring local authorities and other areas within the public sector to make better use of local produce, as well as strengthen statutory requirements on food labelling, including in the hospitality sector.

Because who would object to dining in a restaurant and being able to make informed decisions on what to eat based on knowing exactly what is and isn’t local produce?

Not many people, I’m sure.

Moreover, the Bill would go even further by placing a duty on Welsh ministers to produce an annual Food Strategy for Wales to tackle food poverty and malnutrition.

Finally, it would set an ambitious aim to eliminate all forms of food waste and oblige supermarkets – and other relevant shops – to donate unwanted food to charities and food banks.

READ MORE:

Now is the time for grown-up politics, where tribal party allegiances are left at the door to embrace something pioneering.

There is a long way to go, but I will push for the draft Bill’s implementation tirelessly.

There’s too much at stake for it to be left.

Importantly, this is a Bill that Welsh Conservatives, Welsh Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Liberal Democrats can all rally behind.

In Wales, we constantly talk of being progressive, and now the Senedd has a real opportunity to turn fine words into positive actions.

It is in every political party’s interest to see Wales prosper – and that’s why I urge them to support my draft Bill.

Ultimately, it would underpin our food security and production for generations.

Peter Fox is the Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Finance and Member of the Senedd for Monmouth.

If you value The National's journalism, help grow our team of reporters by becoming a subscriber.