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Tuesday, 1st July 2014

UK: Food Security

Source: House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (UK)

From Summary:

The UK currently enjoys a high level of food security, but this situation will not last unless the Government plans now for future changes in our weather patterns and the changing global demand for food.

This report focuses on food production, supply and the systems necessary to ensure our food security in the future. It highlights some examples of good practice and how Government and food producers could plan for projected changes better to make our food production, and supply systems more secure....

The UK is currently 68% self-sufficient in foods which can be produced here. There has been a steady decline in this level over the last 20 years. While there is no optimal level of self-sufficiency, and a diversity of supply is important for spreading risks, the Government should monitor this level. Levels of self-sufficiency in fruit and vegetables have fallen the most, and farmers should seek to extend the seasonal production of fresh fruit and vegetables in coordination with the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board.

We want to see more supermarkets shorten their supply chains. It is clear that this significantly reduces the threat of disruption and risk in the system and helps ensure consumers know exactly where their food comes from.

Many of our food imports are from other EU member states. As part of the CAP, many of our farmers receive support from the EU. This is a contentious issue. We believe the objective of ensuring secure food supplies is still relevant. Nevertheless the CAP, and indeed our own food production systems must change to meet the challenge of climate change.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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