Food security: making British farming a national priority

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The NFU has raised a clarion call, demanding action on food security – and your support will count, says county advisor Gemma Harvey

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Now, more than ever, the UK government must back British farming and make a secure supply of home-grown food a political priority. British farmers and growers need government policies to enable them to produce food in the countryside for generations to come.
That is why the NFU is calling on the government to deliver on its commitments to food security, starting with:

  • an annual stocktake of British food
  • an annual national food security summit
  • a commitment at least to maintain the levels of food produced in Britain, as outlined in the 2022 Government Food Strategy

Keeping the nation fed
Throughout world wars, financial crises and a global pandemic, a strong supply of homegrown food has been crucial.
Yet recent events have shown vulnerability in our supply chains and have put pressure on food production.
Since the COVID pandemic, the costs of energy, animal feed and even the tools needed to grow food have risen to historic highs, putting more and more farms across the country at risk.
The NFU has launched a food security campaign, calling for fairness for British farmers and growers, galvanising public support behind the idea that our supermarket shelves should never be empty of any food that can be produced by farmers and growers in Britain.
So far, more than 40,000 members of the public have backed the campaign – and there is still time to show your own support by adding your name to the Back British Farming food security campaign.

‘The clock is ticking’
NFU President Minette Batters told our annual conference: “the clock is ticking” and that “time is almost up for this government to start walking the talk”.
In August 2022, Rishi Sunak committed to back British farming as he made his bid to become Prime Minister.
Following an emergency press conference called by the NFU in December last year, the Conservative leader once again reiterated his commitments to food security.
The NFU has remained on the front foot and in April Mrs Batters gave evidence to the environmental audit committee as politicians focussed on food security during a key Westminster Hall debate.
NFU officials, including Minette Batters, have appeared in print, online and on television and radio in recent months, highlighting the importance of food security and the need to support British farmers in producing the healthy, nutritious and sustainable British food that we all know and love.
The NFU’s calls for action were viewed nearly half a million times on social media in the last week of April alone.
We will continue to mobilise supporters until the government follows through on its commitments. If you would like to pledge your support you can do so here.

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