NFU reveals alarming forecast for UK’s self-sufficiency

NFU reveals alarming forecast for UK’s self-sufficiency

A new report published by the NFU has revealed disturbing new figures relating to the UK’s self-sufficiency in food. It states that at current rates, just 53 per cent of the nation’s food needs will be produced from home farms in the next 25 years, with potential for serious implications for the British economy, food security and employment.

NFU President, Meurig Raymond

Meurig Raymond warns of serious implications as UK’s self sufficiency is predicted to hit new lows.

With the population expected to boom over the coming decades, there will be around 13 million extra mouths in the UK by the time the country’s self-sufficiency in home-grown food is predicted to hit dwindling new lows. Currently, the figure stands at 60 per cent – following a 30 year downward spiral. The NFU says action is needed now, and from successive governments, to reverse this current negative trend.

The report, revealed on the opening day of the NFU Conference in Birmingham, comes at a time when the public is becoming increasingly aware of the importance of British food and farming. New YouGov figures show that 85 per cent of the population want to see supermarkets selling more food from British farms – an increase from 79 per cent in 2014.

NFU President Meurig Raymond said: “Today’s report highlights the causes of the decline in self-sufficiency, including shifting and conflicting direction on European and UK farm policy; declining investment in publicly funded research and development; poorly crafted regulation, and weak bargaining power within the food chain. Our report focusses very clearly on what needs to be done to reverse this trend.

“The stark choice for the next government is whether to trust the nation’s food security to volatile world markets or to ‘Back British Farming’ and reverse the worrying trend in food production. I know what I want to happen. I want to see a robust plan for increasing the productive potential of farming, stimulating investment and ensuring that the drive to increase British food production is at the heart of every government department.”

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