The environment and not food security is farming’s future – Miliband

DEFRA secretary David Miliband has said he does not think that food security is the best argument for supporting UK farming.

Addressing the Country Land and Business Association centenary conference in London on Thursday, 10 May, Mr Miliband said that he did not buy the concept.

“I think the changes we have seen across Europe over the past 50 years mean that food security isn’t the right argument.

“I don’t think the test of whether you are passionate or have a vision for UK farming rests on the food security issue,” he said.

Mr Miliband said the country faced big choices about the best use of land over the next century and there would be a new set of relationships.

Farmers would have a contract by which they would receive subsidy in return for environmental goods. Citizens would be extended greater rights of access but given greater responsibility to care for the environment.

“I believe that environmentally friendly farming promotes economically friendly farming,“ he said.