Food Prices and Food Poverty

Part of Opposition Day — [Un-allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 5:34 pm on 23rd January 2012.

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Photo of Laura Sandys Laura Sandys Conservative, South Thanet 5:34 pm, 23rd January 2012

I believe that EU regulations are changing and that country of origin labelling will have to be much clearer, but we certainly have an issue with knowing and understanding exactly where food comes from and, when it comes to meat, where the animal was born rather than where it was reared.

Our system is designed around cheap disposable food and the UK, more than any other country other than the US, must embark on a culture change. We should re-engineer our food system to place value on food and to stop regarding it as disposable. That is why I am calling for a food security obligation—similar to the energy company obligation—for supermarkets and large food producers so that they record and reduce waste through their procurement process and commit to designing their products with the aim of delivering real value for money for the consumer, which is quite different from cheap food.

Both 2008 and 2011 were shocks to the system, but the price rises we have experienced will be the norm in the future. We had better get used to it. Food will not be cheap, but with the right policies in place, feeding our families need not be more expensive.