The Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) has advocated for the creation of an Independent Committee to enhance sustainable food security and agricultural productivity in the UK.
This recommendation is part of a newly released report titled "Powering Productivity for Sustainable UK Food Security." The report suggests the formation of a statutory body akin to the Climate Change Committee to address significant shortcomings in food production.
The proposed committee would offer guidance to the UK and devolved governments on factors influencing food security.
It would also report to Parliament on advancements in improving productivity and resilience across the UK's agri-food supply chain, encompassing pre-farm suppliers, farmers, growers, processors, manufacturers, food service providers, and retailers.
AIC's chief executive, Robert Sheasby, highlighted the recent supply chain disruptions that have revealed the vulnerability and alarming insecurity of the UK's food supply.
He stressed the urgency of addressing these issues to avoid potential crises in the future. The report, authored by Dr. Marcus Bellet-Travers of Anglia Ruskin University, was presented at AIC's annual conference.
Farming Minister Mark Spencer acknowledged the report as thorough and impressive, covering crucial aspects like productivity enhancement and environmental improvement.
George Dunn, chief executive of the Tenant Farmers Association (TFA), also supported the call for a dedicated committee. He emphasised the need for more than just nominal commitment to national food security, pointing out the lack of a robust system to hold the government accountable in this area.
Dunn argued for a legally established UK Food Security Committee to give food security the attention it deserves in fostering a healthy and resilient nation.