Funding £400m of research aimed at producing more food in developing nations to feed the developed world, while not supporting the production of more food domestically, makes the UK government morally bankrupt.

Speaking at this week’s Beef Expo 2008 pre-event conference Mike Tempest, technical director of Northern Ireland’s Livestock and Meat Commission said there was no reason not to encourage the production of food in the UK and the EU. “EU consumers are wealthy enough to pay for domestically produced food, there is no need to take food from the mouths of those in developing nations.

“Government should be supporting its own farmers not throwing money at inefficient countries producing at lower efficiencies than those in the UK. We have a government willing to help developing countries to export to the EU to help solve domestic inflation – this is moral bankruptcy,” he said.

Additionally, Mr Tempest rounded on consumers who are currently wasting a third of the food they buy. “Making better use of the food produced and minimising wastage would allow shoppers to maintain their current spend on food, while also allowing better prices to be passed back to farmers.”