The frequency of the government’s food security report will not be increased from every three years to annually, Defra secretary of state Thérèse Coffey has said.
So far there has been only one report, in December 2021, since it was first required by the Agriculture Act, which became law in 2020.
Dr Coffey was answering questions on a range of issues at a meeting of the MPs’ committee on environment, food and rural affairs in March. Committee member Neil Hudson said the first report had been published prior to the war in Ukraine, since when “everything has drastically changed.”
But she confirmed that a food security summit, chaired by the Prime Minister, was expected to take place by the end of June.
At the first meeting of the House of Lords’ new select committee focused on horticulture, which also took place in March, the director of the Agri-Food Chain directorate, Tessa Jones, said the risk presented to growers by the way supermarkets buy fresh food was “a very live topic for discussion.”
“There is increasing awareness now that we have a different model to those in Europe,” she said. “It is certainly a conversation that we have begun with our colleagues across the food supply chain and one that ministers are particularly interested in at the moment.”
Henry Dimbelby, author of England’s national food strategy, has resigned as an adviser to the government because of the Conservative Party’s lack of action on tackling obesity. One of his report’s recommendations was that Defra’s food security review was published annually.