A cross-party group of MPs has launched an inquiry into food security.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee announced its report – Securing food supplies up to 2050: the challenges for the UK – at a farmers’ market in London on 11 December.

An EFRA spokeswoman said that food security had risen up the political agenda after two successive poor harvests, the use of land for biofuels, population expansion and an increasing demand for meat and dairy products in developing countries, had pushed up prices.

“The UN secretary general announced world food production would have to increase by 50% by 2030 to meet the demand caused by population increases and rising prosperity,” the spokeswoman said.

“The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation had estimated food production needed to double by 2050 to feed an anticipated world population of 9bn.

“The committee is interested in how well the UK is equipped to play its part in meeting this challenge,” she added.

EFRA will conduct its inquiry in two parts:

The first will concentrate on establishing the challenges the UK faces in responding to the call to increase food production the second part will look into what actions should be taken by the government, the food industry, farmers, growers, and fishermen, to meet those challenges.