The UK government has announced a new strategy to increase its domestic food output amid growing food insecurity globally.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, global markets have been sent into a tailspin, with food prices continuing to spike due to supply chain issues. In addition, spiraling inflation has exacerbated rising costs, along with food transportation amid the ongoing energy crisis.
As a result, the British government has announced it will be focusing on boosting the output of domestic food in sectors such as seafood and horticulture, investing £270 million (€311.4 million) into farming innovation between now and 2029.
“Harnessing new technologies and innovation, we will grow and eat more of our own food – unlocking jobs across the country and growing the economy, which in turn will ultimately help to reduce pressure on prices,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.
Johnson also said he would not impose any taxes which would put up the price of food, such as taxes on sugar or salt, which some have recommended to make food healthier.
“The best way to lose weight believe me is to eat less,” the prime minister said.
The president of the National Farmers Union, Minette Batters, said that the announcement highlighted the importance of home-grown food production “at a time when the war in Ukraine has focused attention on the importance and fragility of our global food security.”
Earlier this year, Tim Cullinan, President of the Irish Farming Association, told Gript that the pressure on the agri-industry from climate policies “could lead to food shortages” globally.
“We have to be very, very careful here. Because what’s happening as well is, obviously the world population is increasing, and we’re going to need more food. So the government needs to be very, very careful here, or this could lead to food shortages right across the world,” he said.