Farm machines harvesting corn in Midwest, September, aerial view.

NFU calls for government to take action on self-sufficient food

Today (Aug 21) marks the notional day that, if the UK were relying on its own food supply, we would have run out of food.

The British self-sufficient food rate has been stagnant for a few years, with it sitting at 64% since 2017, after a high of 75% in the mid-80’s.

The National Farmers' Union of England and Wales (NFU) believes that now is the time to act, with Britain producing the majority of its own food being a great tool for a green recovery.

NFU President, Minette Batters, said:

“The entire economy is now aiming to build back better, to build back greener. British farming can be central to that green recovery. We have a golden opportunity to place food security at the centre of our food system and become a global leader in sustainable food production.”

The UK becoming self sufficient can be a huge step towards the Government’s target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

In 2017, the Government-advising Committee on Climate Change identified “risks to domestic and international food production and trade” as one of the UK’s top six climate change risks.

The Government’s own risk assessment agreed that “climate change will present significant risks” to the UK food supply, but responded that it “takes a more optimistic view” of the supply resilience achieved through markets and diverse sources of supply. It also argued, for domestic production, that climate change brings opportunities as well as risks.

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