The UK Government has initiated the first major review of the food system in the country after nearly 75 years.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has appointed Henry Dimbleby, the co-founder of restaurant chain Leon and of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, to lead the review of the UK food system.

Gove said: “Leaving the EU is a great opportunity for British farmers and food producers. But with an expanding population, the urgent threat of climate change and rising levels of diet-related disease, we face many challenges too.

“That is why the time is right for us to look afresh at our food system to ensure everyone has access to high-quality British food and our environment is protected for future generations.

“I am delighted that Henry Dimbleby will be leading this once-in-a-generation opportunity to cultivate a stronger food system for the future.”

During his investigation, Dimbleby will focus on the entire food system, from field to fork, and will recommend changes required for ensuring delivery of safe, healthy and affordable food.

The investigation will focus on measures that will restore and enhance the natural environment for the next generation, as well as a resilient and sustainable agriculture sector.

Additionally, Dimbleby will investigate how changes contribute to urban and rural economies, as well as delivering well-paid jobs, and supporting innovative producers and manufacturers. He will also review how these measures can be implemented in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

The recommendations will be published in the new National Food Strategy, which will be released in 2020.

Dimbleby said: “No part of our economy matters more than food. It is vital to life and shapes our sense of identity.

“But there are urgent challenges with which we must grapple. Populations are growing, diet-related conditions are harming the lives of millions, and climate change are altering what our land will yield.

“From farmers in the field to chefs in the kitchen, over the next year, I’ll be speaking with people from across the food chain to address these challenges and ensure everyone has a say in shaping the future.”