Hilary Benn defends government food strategy

DEFRA secretary Hilary Benn has defended the government’s long-awaited strategy for securing food supplies up to 2030.

Facing questioning from a cross-party committee of MPs on Wednesday (13 January), Mr Benn said the strategy, Food 2030, was “vitally important” in helping the government secure food supplies.

Michael Jack, Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee chairman, said the strategy contained no clear policy on how the government planned to ensure food security over the next 20 years.

“A strategy should define what needs to happen across all sectors, including the role of all individual players within the food chain,” he said. “But this strategy is thin on these details.”

But Mr Benn rejected the claims and said the government already had measures in place to tackle food security.

Food 2030 was a “joined-up strategy” across government to help continue those measures, he added.

The Campaign for the Farmed Environment, industry tasks forces and increased investment into agricultural science showed DEFRA had taken steps to increase production, Mr Benn said.

For more on the strategy click here.