MPs to probe food security question in UK

MPs have announced they will launch an inquiry into food security in the UK.

The environment, food and rural affairs select committee will investigate how best to improve UK and EU food security.

It will also look at the role that could be played by science and the adoption of GM technology.

In a statement released on Tuesday (29 October) the committee said that the UK was 62% self-sufficient in food production.

“However, many domestic and international factors affect both production and prices for consumers as became evident during the world food price spike of 2008.

“Globally, climate change, population growth, energy supply and water security are all putting pressure on food production and have the potential to lead to higher food prices. In the UK, food price inflation was 3.1% in 2012 rising to 4.4% by the middle of 2013.”

The committee is inviting written evidence on the following issues:

  • How best to improve UK (and EU) food security, including using resources more efficiently

  • The relationship between the price of food and the cost of producing it

  • The implications of volatility in global food supply and demand for UK food security

  • The potential value and contribution of science and GM technology to UK food security

  • How food and farming supply chains, and systems for traceability, can contribute to increased resilience

  • Whether climate change risks are adequately incorporated in UK food security strategies and planning

  • The obstacles facing food producers, including small farmers, seeking to increase production and access new markets

  • Ways of increasing self-sufficiency in products for which the UK has a comparative advantage.

The EFRA committee last carried out an inquiry into food security in 2009 when it concluded that DEFRA had neglected food policy in the past and had to show stronger leadership on the issue.

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