1 Introduction |
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
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.