food crisis is likely to hit the UK and could have a
major impact on coming elections, according to a stark
warning from influential think tank Chatham House.
The report says food production in the UK is poorly
placed to cope with issues such as climate change and
surging energy prices and advocates a more
interventionist approach from government to safeguard
The report, revealed in The Guardian, argues that the
individual preferences of UK consumers will have to take
a back seat as the emphasis on production shifts to
reflect the needs of society.
It warns that climate change will limit crop yields,
while demand for resource-demanding meat and dairy
products will increase in emerging nations such as China
The warning comes after Whitehall yesterday announced
the creation of a new food policy unit to advise the
Government on the major challenges currently facing the
The new Council of Food Policy Advisors will be drawn
from representatives of all sectors within the industry
and reflects the desire for ?a more strategic approach?
to food production in Westminster.
The team will sit under the aegis of the Department of
Environment, Food & Rural Affairs and look into issues
including affordability, security of supply and the
environmental impact of food production.
?With rising prices and increasing demand across the
globe, we can?t take our food supply for granted,? said
environment secretary Hilary Benn. ?Our food supply
needs to be reliable and resilient and able to withstand
shocks and crises. We must have a strong, thriving,
environmentally sustainable farming industry in this
country that continues to produce a significant
proportion of our food.?