Food Supply

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 28th April 2022.

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Photo of Matt Vickers Matt Vickers Conservative, Stockton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the UK’s food security.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain, as demonstrated throughout the COVID-19 response. It is well equipped to deal with situations with the potential to cause disruption. Our high degree of food security is built on supply from diverse sources, strong domestic production as well as imports through stable trade routes. This provides us with the resilience we need in the face of risks such as adverse weather, animal or crop disease, or transport and border disruption.

Our production to supply ratio remains high in comparison with historical levels. We produce 60% of all the food we need, and 74% of food which we can grow or rear in the UK for all or part of the year, and these figures have changed little over the last 20 years. UK consumers have access through international trade to food products that cannot be produced here, or at least not on a year-round basis. This supplements domestic production, and also ensures that any disruption from risks such as adverse weather or disease does not affect the UK's overall security of supply

Recognising the importance of food security, in the Agriculture Act 2020, the Government made a commitment to produce an assessment of our food security at least once every three years. The first UK Food Security Report (UKFSR) was published in December 2021. This report will serve as an evidence base for future policy work. The UKFSR covers food security in the widest sense from global food availability and sustainability to domestic supply chain resilience, household food security and food safety.

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