NFU president warns climate change is ‘wreaking’ global food production

National Farmer’s Union (NFU) president Minette Batters is urging the government needs to take domestic food production seriously as climate change is “wreaking” global food production.

The NFU stated that the Russian-Ukrainian war, food inflation and climate change is “wreaking havoc on food production across the world” and urged prime minister Rishi Sunak to “put words into action from his recent food summit and legislate to ensure the UK’s self-sufficiency does not drop below its current level of 60%.”

“It is clear that our food supply chains need to be better prepared and more resilient to deal with global shocks and the extremes of weather that are fast becoming the norm,” commented Batters.

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“While we will always be a trading nation in food, we cannot remain over-reliant on imports when other countries are also facing significant challenges economically and climatically,” she continued.

“Now is the time to ensure policies are in place to support the production of quality, climate friendly, home-grown food.

“This government has statutory targets for the environment and ministers need now to give the same status to our food production,” she added.

To put the UK’s domestic food production into context, Batters highlighted that 9 August marked “the day of the year we would run out of food” if we only ate food produced in the UK from 1 January 2023.

In response to the NFU’s warnings, farming minister Mark Spencer said the government was committed to maintaining food production “at current levels“, but that supporting farmers and food producers remained “at the heart of our plans to grow the economy”.

“I pay tribute to the hard work of farmers to put food on our tables, especially in light of recent wet weather, and continue to do all I can to support them – from maintaining the £2.4 billion annual budget to the recent Farm to Fork summit where we announced a package of measures to protect farmers’ interests in future trade deals, boost domestic fruit and veg production and deliver new investment in technologies,” he added.

Climate crisisFood and farmingNewsPolicy

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