Food security - Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Contents

1  Introduction

Our inquiry

1. This Report is the first of two we intend to make on food security in the UK. It is about how we produce food, where our food comes from, how it is traded and marketed and the preparedness within our food system to address long term issues arising from climate change and projected global population growth. In our second Report, later this year, we intend to focus on consumption, affordability and access to food and food waste.

2. We reported on food security in the last Parliament. Our 2009 Report, Securing food supplies up to 2050: the challenges faced by the UK, was published in the aftermath of the 2008 food price spikes which had led to significant economic and political disruption in many countries and increased the significance of food security globally.

3. In the course of our inquiry we received written submissions from 50 different individuals and organisations in the UK. We held five oral evidence sessions and one private briefing (a full list of witnesses can be found at the end of this Report). In connection with this inquiry we made visits to Devon and Cornwall to Mountstephen Farm, Rothamsted Research Institute and the Cornish Cheese Factory in Liskeard. We are grateful to all those who have contributed to our inquiry in one form or another. We have also had the assistance of an external Specialist Adviser, Professor Brian Revell, Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Economics, Harper Adams University, whose assistance has been invaluable.


4. Our Report is structured as follows: the second chapter sets out the broad framework of UK food policy looking at the interconnections between the global, regional and national structures. The focus of chapter three is the challenge of climate change to our food production systems. The remaining chapters explore the necessary responses to this challenge focusing on sustainable intensification, supply chain resilience, harnessing technology, and research and development needs for the long term.

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Prepared 1 July 2014