24 May 2000
Food chain under scrutiny

A NATIONAL debate on the future of the food chain is launched on Wednesday (24 May).

The government-led Foresight Food Chain and Crops for Industry Panel will bring together business, the consumer, research, the government and voluntary sector.

It aims to prepare for the future by publishing emerging thoughts on discussion over the next few months.

Issues under discussion include the use of technology in the food chain and foods contribution to our health.

Chairwoman Deirdre Hutton, told the BBC Radio 4 Farming Today programme that farmers face difficulties gauging whether there is a market for their crops.

“One of the things which will be helpful is improving communications with consumers, so farmers understand what is acceptable to grow,” she said.

On the issue of industrial crops, Ms Hutton added that manufacturers had to be persuaded that they worked and there was a consistent and available supply.