Poor yields highlight food security needs

Food security is back on the agenda after the one of the most difficult harvests for 25 years saw wheat yields plummet.

Wheat yields are down 14.1% on the five-year average, falling to 6.7t/ha – a level not seen since the late 1980s, according to the latest NFU harvest results. The prospect of food price hikes made news headlines across the national media on Wednesday (10 October).

Other cereal yields have been variable at best, prompting calls for retailers, processors, consumers and politicians to play their part in a bid to keep a lid on prices.

Unprecedented increases in livestock feed costs were likely to stay and be felt across the supply chain, the NFU warned.

Global weather events – including drought in North America – had added to upward price pressure, said NFU chief combinable crops adviser Guy Gagen. “The resulting tight supplies of many feed grains have driven up the prices of agricultural commodities around the world,” he added.

Nicola Currie, eastern region director for the Country Land and Business Association, said: “We need to adopt a ‘waste not, want not attitude’.

“Consumers need to make their voices heard and as a country we need to cut the amount of food waste.”

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