The Crop Protection Association has welcomed this week’s launch of the Global Food and Farming Futures Foresight report in highlighting the urgency of the food security challenge.
CPA is emphasising the need - and its own plans - to convey the report’s key messages to EU policy-makers as further compelling evidence of how advances in science and technology must be applied to help global agriculture produce enough food for a growing world population.
Central to the report, the most comprehensive food security study to date, is a recognition that the current global food system is failing, and that more food needs to be produced from existing land and resources through the ’sustainable intensification’ of agriculture.
The report makes clear that this will require targeted investment in agricultural research to increase the yield and climate resilience of food crop production. No technological approach should be ruled out and access to innovation should be determined according to scientific and evidence-based criteria.
In the wake of the Foresight report’s publication, CPA has also welcomed the commitment from Defra Secretary Caroline Spelman to work with the whole food chain to ensure the UK leads the way on sustainable intensification of agriculture, and her assurance that the UK Government will take the key recommendations of the Foresight report to EU policy-makers and beyond. This will include working closely with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has identified food security as a priority for his Presidency of the G20 during 2011.
"This is an authoritative and far-reaching report, with national and global relevance and conveying a clear and urgent message of the need to increase production, reduce waste, cut emissions and free up trade to address the pressures facing the global food system," said Dominic Dyer, CPA chief executive.
"The report is right to emphasise that access to scientific and technological innovation will be essential to help food production keep pace with population growth. But as I stressed to Caroline Spelman at the launch, that message must be conveyed to EU politicians as a matter of urgency. There is no point having one group of policy-makers advocating the use of new agricultural technology when another group appears hell-bent on blocking progress in areas such as GM crops and crop protection.
"Alongside other farming and food chain stakeholders, CPA played its part in contributing to the thinking behind this report, and we are committed to ensuring its conclusions and recommendations are presented to key decision-makers. To that end, we are developing plans in partnership with the British Chamber of Commerce to present the Foresight report to EU Ministers, officials and MEPs in Brussels over the coming months," concluded Mr Dyer.