Government has no strategy for Britain’s food security, Emma warns

December 3, 2014

131106 ELB WM HALL smallLast Thursday (27 November) Emma spoke in a parliamentary debate on food security, raising a number of concerns about the Coalition’s food security policy.

Emma explained how unstable food prices could result in low-income families falling into food poverty, as she had seen during her work with the All Party Group on Hunger and Food Poverty.

She warned that the Government was being complacent about Britain’s food security, particularly when it came to the threat of climate change. Flooding last winter destroyed millions of pounds worth of crops, while extreme weather across the world is set to increasingly disrupt food supplies in the future. Emma warned that “in a globalised food system, it is impossible to escape the effects of climate change.”

The debate was held to discuss the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee’s report on Food Security, published earlier this year. The Committee called for the Government to take a more joined-up approach to food security, including appointing a dedicated Food Security Co-ordinator to take charge of the UK’s food security policy. The Government rejected this recommendation, to criticism from Emma and other Committee members.

Emma also criticised the Government for abolishing the Food 2030 strategy approved by the last Labour government.

You can read Emma’s speech, along with the rest of the debate, by clicking here.

The EFRA Committee is currently carrying out a further investigation into food security, this time focusing on food waste and food poverty.

Speaking after the debate, Emma said:

“We take our food supply for granted, but rising food prices can quickly drive people into poverty, as we have seen with the rise in food banks over the last few years.

“The challenges of the future, like a rising global population and more extreme weather, mean food security is going to become an even more important issue, and so it is alarming that the Government doesn’t think we need a Food Security Co-ordinator dedicated to this issue.

“If we don’t plan ahead there could be serious consequences for families. I am pleased that the Committee is looking at food waste and food poverty, because the Government still isn’t taking the issue of rising food prices seriously enough.”  

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