You may be thinking that...
food queues and riots could never occur
in the UK and we trust they don’t,
but how can we be sure?.
UK Government is responsible...
for the needs of the people and for ensuring that
our food supply is sufficiently protected from
the vulnerability of disruption.
According to DEFRA...
the latest statistics state that the
trade gap in food, drink and animal feed
has now widened to £21bn.
Uk dairy farmers...
are having to sell their milk for less than
it costs to produce. Action is needed from the
government to save this threatened sector
are in steady decline as traditionally they are
the first victims of increased supermarket
competition as returns fall.
When we import food
we import water...
As an increasingly scarce resource globally,
is this ethically justifiable?
Who are Food Security Ltd
Food Security Ltd are a group of concerned UK farmers and food related personnel who want to alert the UK government and the public to the decline in the amount of food produced in this country, and to the fact that defence and national security are inextricably linked with home food production.
We are not anti-government, neither are we commercially or politically motivated. We are particularly concerned about how 64 million British people will be fed in the event of a crisis, and what can actually be done to improve this critical situation.
What is food security?
It has often been stated that food security is achieved when all people at all times have physical and economical access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.
Who is responsible?
The UK Government is responsible for the needs of the people and for ensuring that our food supply is sufficiently protected from the vulnerability of disruption.
Key facts & figures
UK population now 64 million, (and predicted to keep increasing).
40% of our food Is Imported, (this figure was only 26% 20 years ago).
UK Trade gap in food, drink and animal feed is now £21 billion, (this figure was £12 billion in 2000).
1 in 8
The food and farming industry is worth more than £100 billion annually and supports 1 in 8 jobs.
The current level of borrowing in the farming industry is £17 billion.
The current level of buffer food stocks in this country is extremely low.
Heavy reliance on the main supermarkets' contingency management plans for our supply of food in the event of a crisis.
58 years old
The average age of UK farmers is now 58, (and the majority of farmers' children do not want to take over the family farm).
Food producers are struggling to maintain production, let alone increase it, (most would have no hope of increasing it).
Food Security Ltd / Report 2015
You may be thinking that food queues and riots could never occur in the UK and we trust they don’t, but how can we be sure? Read our latest publication to find out more.
Click the image or button below to download a PDF version.
Table of contents
- Page number
- 01. What is Food Security?
- 04. Food queues and riots
- 05. Some key facts & figures
- 06. DEFRA statistics
- 08. What dairy needs
- 10. Increased UK food production...
- 10. Importing more than we export
- 11. Some solutions
- 12. Foresight
- 13. Horticulture and field vegetables
- 14. Additional considerations
- 17. CAP - Single Farm Payments
- 17. DEFRA versus MAFF
- 18. Some interesting quotations
- 19. Who are Food Security Ltd?
Latest news & updates
The impact of Brexit on farming
Lords debate, 21st July 2016
In July 2016 Baroness McIntosh of Pickering initiated a House of Lords debate on the impact of Brexit on UK farming. The debate raised some very potent points and interesting figures. A full script of the debate can be read on hansard.parliament.uk/lords
Letters to Telegraph regarding Dame Helen Ghosh
Michael Rogers, Sevenoaks, Kent (August 2016)
SIR – Dame Helen Ghosh, the head of the National Trust, is not the first person to think that we need to change our attitude to the rural scene. The songwriter Richard Stilgoe deplored the farmers who “are ruining the countryside by covering it with food”. He was joking. I fear that she was not... As it is illegal to pick wild flowers, and butterflies are not very nutritious, what does she suggest that the 60 million-odd of us in Britain should eat?
Ian Pigott, Harpenden, Hertfordshire (August 2016)
SIR – I was not surprised to learn that Dame Helen is rounding on Andrea Leadsom, the Environment Secretary. Dame Helen sees Brexit as an opportunity to redistribute farm support from food production into “wild flowers, bees and butterflies”.
As a farmer, I am heavily committed to environmental stewardship. However, the choice between food and flowers is not a binary one.
Of course the way that farm support is distributed needs to be rethought. But it is not about habitat-creation alone. Improving production efficiencies through investment in science, technology and supply-chain management will also aid biodiversity.
To focus on habitat-creation at the expense of food production is naive. It will lead to an increase in imported food that is produced to lower standards than those of Britain. Neither the farmer nor the consumer should be compromised by myopic lobbying.
David Bertioli, Southrop, Gloucestershire (August 2016)
SIR – I want to preserve and improve the environment. However, I wonder if Dame Helen has thought through the desire to return the countryside to the way it was “in our parents’ and grandparents’ generations”.
At the turn of the 20th century, wheat yields averaged less than 2.5 tons per hectare; in 2015, they were nine tons per hectare. We cannot go back to the age before “industrialised agriculture” without a massive increase in food imports – or hunger.
While the decline of species is worrying, the victories in conservation over the past decades – such as the return of otters and red kites to large areas – should not be ignored. A constructive dialogue about conservation and the environment would build upon these successes and look to the future, not the past.
Food Security response to Dame Helen Ghosh
GEF, Food DSecurity Ltd
Your front page article on Thursday entitled ‘Brexit can transform our Countryside’ shows the scant regard that Dame Helen Ghosh (a former Permanent Secretary at DEFRA) has for the Government’s responsibility to secure the necessary food supply for our 64 miliion+ people in the UK. Farming is in serious recession, and we cannot rely on cheap imported food for ever, nor can we rely on the Supermarkets’ ability to supply it. Whilst it would be a pleasant dream to turn our countryside into a nice place to visit , with lots of butterflies , meandering rivers, wild flowers and bees, who will feed this vulnerable island nation? Farmers urgently need support to do this, and to make this country more self- sufficient in essential foods. If food production is not supported in some form, we could soon have food riots on our streets.
Other news, articles and comments
Chris Davies, MP
"We agree that we must do all we can to support our vitally important rural areas and we agree that the rural economy is vital to the British economy at large. Food security is key, along with the rural way of life."
"Some studies on the future of agricultural policy, such as a recent one by the Centre for Policy Studies, rather downplay the importance of *food security*. Will my right hon. Friend reassure the House that *food security* remains at the top of the Government's agenda? A shock to the system could completely destroy existing trading links and leave the country in a very vulnerable position."
Rural Support is helping 200 families
Figures from the Department of Agriculture published recently show the average farm income is around £13,500 - down 46%.
Sam Chesney is lucky. He has a contract with a leading supermarket, and is not carrying lots of bank debt. But the profit on his cattle is down almost £180 per head, and he's having to make savings where he can.
Robert is keen to go, but concerned about how his father will cope in his absence... Lots of farm families are feeling the pressure. The charity Rural Support is helping 200 of them which are in financial crisis. Find out more about the Rural Support.
Question from: Dr Liam Fox (MP), Secretary of State for Defence 2010-2011
On 14th December 2015, Dr Liam Fox (MP) posed a question to Ms Liz Truss (MP), the current Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, "...what food security planning her department has undertaken for the UK in times of conflict, crisis and war situations."
This is an extremley insightful question from a hugely experienced ex-cabinet minister! Dr Fox's foresight and grasp of the real-life situation faced by the UK is very evident from his timely question.
Get in Touch
If you would like to receive further information regarding
Food Security Ltd or our publication(s) please contact us at:
t: 01227 831 255
Food Security Ltd
Maple House, Hamlin Way,
King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE30 4NG