HC 243, Second Report of Session 2014-15 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes Relating to the Report
- House of Commons - Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The UK is currently 68% self-sufficient in foods which can be produced at home, but this key indicator has declined steadily over the past 20 years, from 87%; the report 'Food Security (HC 243)' identifies that the biggest long-term challenge to food production systems is the impact of extreme weather events resulting from climate change.
The Committee supports the idea of 'sustainable intensification' - producing more food with fewer resources - and calls on the Department for Environemnt, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to stem the decline in UK self-sufficiency, and deliver more resilience in the UK food system. It notes that for key cereal crops, yield levels have not increased for over 15 years.
Other recommendations include:
supermarkets to shorten supply chains to reduce threats of disruption;
UK farmers to extend seasonal production of fresh fruit and vegetables in coordination with the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board, and local and central Government;
Government to reduce dependence on imported soybean for animal feed, as increased demand for protein from emerging economies threatens current supply lines; and
Government to produce a detailed emissions reduction plan for the UK agricultural sector.
The Committee welcomes the Government's new £160 million AgriTech Strategy to translate technological ideas into farm practice, but warns that current funding levels are insufficient. The Government should also lead a public debate to counter food safety fears among consumers about Genetically Modified (GM) foods, and ensure a more evidence-based approach to EU licensing of GM crops.
|Format||Paperback||Published||01 Jul 2014|
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