Food Supply

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 8th September 2014.

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Photo of Bob Russell Bob Russell Liberal Democrat, Colchester

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate she has made of the proportion of the UK's food demand met by food grown in the UK; and what that figure was in (a) 1984, (b) 1994 and (c) 2004.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The proportion of UK food consumption that was produced in the UK was 63% in 1994 and 53% in 2004. The detailed trade data used in this calculation is not available before 1988.

The latest available figures for 2013 give the proportion as 53%.

A full-time series from 1988 to 2013 is available in Chapter 14 (table 14.5) of the publication “Agriculture in the United Kingdom” at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/agriculture-in-the-united-kingdom

An alternative and frequently used measure is the UK production to supply ratio for indigenous type food. This compares total national production with production excluding exports and including imports. It is not directly comparable with the domestic food consumption proportion above because it includes food that the UK exported which could have been consumed domestically. The UK production to supply ratio for indigenous type food for 2013 was 73%. “Indigenous type food” refers to types which can be produced in the UK on a commercially viable basis.

A time series of the production to supply ratio is also available in table 14.1 and chart 14.5 in “Agriculture in the United Kingdom”.

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