A legally established UK Food Security Committee is needed to give food security the prominence it deserves, a major new report has said.
The independent committee would shore up the UK agri-food sector’s floundering productivity and sustainably bolster the nation’s food security.
This is according to the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC), which has published the findings of its report today (15 November).
It warns that the unprecedented supply chain shocks of recent years have exposed the fragility of the UK’s food supply and its 'deeply concerning' lack of security.
Chaired independently, the statutory body would advise the UK and devolved governments on the drivers of food security.
It would report to parliament on progress made in enhancing the productivity and resilience of the UK’s entire agri-food supply chain.
The report says that much like the Independent Committee on Climate Change, it would take a cross-UK view of the legislative direction, aiding policy development and collaboration in support of our nation’s food security.
Robert Sheasby, AIC’s chief executive, said productivity in the agri-food industry was complicated and no singlepolicy or innovation spearheaded its progression.
"It is the sheer breadth and complexity laid out by this report which has led AIC to call for the establishment of an independent UK Food Security Committee.
"The oversight of such a body for the agri-food industry will significantly enhance our national food security for the long term, well beyond short-term parliamentary cycles."
He warned: “There is an open and serious question as to where our nation will find itself in the next 20 years if we fail to act now.”
Responding to the report, the Tenant Farmers’ Association's (TFA) chief executive, George Dunn said it was 'about time' that the government 'paid more than lip service' to the delivery of the nation’s food security.
"Unlike the legal targets that exist for environmental outcomes, there is nothing equivalent targeting food security," he said.
"A legally established UK Food Security Committee would give food security the prominence it deserves as part of delivering a healthy and resilient nation".