The Government has responded to a report into food security published by MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Selected Committee.
Published in January, the report said the public should be encouraged to eat more home-grown produce as this would boost industry and investment in production. It also called for an increase in ‘the level of consideration people give to the impact of their food choices on their health.’
In its response, the Government said, ‘”Food and farming are hugely important to the UK economy, worth more than £100bn a year and employing approximately 1 in 8 people,” the government said. We are working with farmers, manufacturers and retailers to ensure the UK has the right climate to attract increased inward investment and to enable UK producers to grow and compete.’
It added that it agreed that ‘consumers should be empowered to make their own informed choices.’ However, its response to certain areas, such as the need to reduce food waste, labelling and food banks were less detailed.
The NFU said it was glad the government recognised some of the issues, but that more needed to be done. NFU head of policy Andrea Graham said, “With the UK currently only producing 60 per cent of the nation’s food needs, this is a timely, welcome and sensible response from the Government, which clearly recognises that more must be done to reverse this trend.
“We are pleased that it has recognised the need to allow our industry to take advantage of emerging technologies to extend the British growing season for horticulture; the importance of promoting our world class products to consumers; and that consumers must be given better labelling so they can make more informed decisions about what they buy.”