Benn Lays Down Government Strategy for Future Food Supply

Article excerpt

Byline: Karen Dent

ASUSTAINABLE food supply is as vital to the UK's future as the country's energy supply and must be maintained, Defra Secretary Hilary Benn said as he unveiled the Government's latest vision to feed the nation.

He launched the Food 2030 strategy yesterday at the Oxford Farming Conference, where he reiterated the importance of the pounds 80bn farming and food industry, which is the UK's largest manufacturing sector employing 3.6 million people.

The strategy contains the Government's vision of how the country's food supply can be maintained against a backdrop of climate change and a growing population plus outside forces such as rising commodity prices.

Mr Benn said: "We need to produce more food. We need to do it sustainably.

And we need to make sure that what we eat safeguards our health.

"We know that the consequences of the way we produce and consume our food are unsustainable. There are challenges for everyone involved in the food system, from production right through to managing food waste.

"We know we are at one of those moments in our history where the future of our economy, our environment and our society will be shaped by the choices we make now."

The Government is calling on farmers to produce food more efficiently and sustainably, with high standards of animal welfare and fewer carbon emissions.

The food sector itself needs to be innovative, competitive, skilled and resilient with top-class scientific research and development to meet these challenges, the document said. …


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