Climate change is a threat to UK agriculture according to MEP Richard Ashworth, speaking at AgriLIVE Smithfield, Stoneleigh Park today.

He said there were three threats to UK agriculture with climate change being one.

“Agriculture is seen as part of the climate change problem, but this shouldn’t be the case. Greenhouse gases from agriculture are in the second division and it is irresponsible of people like Paul McCartney to call for meat free Mondays,” he said.

The other two threats included price volatility and CAP reform. “With price volatility there is little linkage between the price of the product on the shelf and the price of the commodity at the farm gate. We have to remember PLC’s are there to look after shareholders and not farmers and farmers need to look at their contract and see if there are ways they could share value added as well as sharing risk,” he said.

However, one opportunity for UK agriculture is food security, he said. “With the world population increasing to 9b by 2050 and land use decreasing, efficient food production will be vital. By 2030 world agriculture will have to increase output by 50% and agriculture will be vital in providing food security in the next 10 years,” he said.