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Thursday, 14 January 2010

Defra's joined-up thinking recognises the fragility of UK food production

The government's 20-year food and farming strategy fully integrates policy for the first time since the second world war. We can't carry on just as we are," the prime minister says of the UK food system in his introduction to the government's new 20-year food and farming strategy published today. The strategy has been co-ordinated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), but it integrates policy on food across every government department for the first time since the second world war. It acknowledges formally for the first time since then that the UK's food production and distribution affects not just the countryside and environment but our health, social equity, and whether we will even have enough to eat, as natural resources dwindle and climate change disrupts farming. It also recognises the fragility of the current UK food system, which depends heavily on imports, last-minute ordering, and long distribution chains, which are vulnerable to sudden shocks from global price spikes, disruption to fuel supplies, and the impact of climate change on critical infrastructure, such as ports.

Source: The Guardian