21st century challenges for food in the UK
A ten-month Strategy Unit project looking at food policy across Government was published by the Cabinet Office today. It concludes that rising demand, climate change, and trade and productivity restrictions must all be addressed.
Commissioned by the Prime Minister, the report focuses on food issues in the UK and puts them in a global context. It draws together evidence about long-term trends in food production and consumption, and how food safety and nutrition impact on the health of the UK.
The report makes several recommendations, including that building on the Stern Review and drawing on the UK’s world class science base, the UK should take a leadership role in looking at how the world can meet the twin challenges of climate change and global food security. The Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser is commissioning a major new project on this, which is announced today. It will explore how the food system and its associated policies will need to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn said:
“Recent events in world food markets have shown that continued access to affordable food is not something that can be taken for granted. The long term challenges in this area are significant but can be overcome.
“The lessons of the ‘Green Revolution’ of the last century need to be learnt as we work to achieve food security in this century. In the future our planet will be adjusting to the effects of climate change with economies that need to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is in this context that we must base our efforts.
“By 2050 we will need food for a world population that is wealthier and several billion larger. We will need to do this at the same time as adapting to a warming and less predictable climate. And, in addition, we will need to cut the greenhouse gas emissions associated with food production.”
Defra will shortly be publishing a paper entitled ‘Ensuring the UK’s Food Security in a Globalised World’. This report will set out the key factors which affect food supply and pricing, and encourages discussion with stakeholders including producers and retailers about ensuring long-term food security.
- News release – includes key findings and key recommendations from the report
- Food Matters: towards a strategy for the 21st century
- Love Food Hate Waste website
Page published: 7 July 2008