In the near future global food supplies will become less secure
and prices more volatile.
This chilling prediction was made by Meat and Livestock Commission
Chairman Peter Barr as he opened the organisation's annual Outlook
Conference today (TUE).
The event, held in London, attracted delegates
from across the meat and livestock industry.
Mr Barr said: "I
predict we will see global protein shortages within our own lifetime
- and I'm not just referring to meat when I say this.
is a finite availability of agricultural land. And with population
growth there is increased competition for land between urban development
and the production of food, animal feed, and now biofuels.
top of this there are the pressures caused by short-term crises
as a result of disease, droughts and floods and the longer-term
impacts of climate change all of which destabilise world trade.
security has not been a fashionable topic. But, it is one I have
been raising for a number of years, and it is now rapidly rising
up the agenda.
"There is certainly a good deal of food for
thought for policy makers around the world.
"Consumers too may have to re-evaluate their stance on some
critical issues such as GM solutions and intensive production methods.
am, therefore, pleased to see the Cabinet Office strategy unit
is working on a special project looking at the need for a co-ordinated
UK food policy."
The keynote speech was given by Defra minister
Lord Rooker who set out the Government's vision for the industry
while Mike Coupe, Trading Director at J Sainsbury, outlined how
British meat fits into the JS business model and how JS sees red
meat supply chains evolving in the future.
From the US, leading
industry consultant John Nalivka spoke about trends and new developments
in the US industry. He was followed by Tara Garnett, Coordinator
of the Food Climate Research Network.
The afternoon was split into
two parallel sessions, one for beef and sheep and the other for
pigs, where MLC experts set out the market outlook for the cattle
and sheep and pig sectors and presented MLC's latest market forecasts.
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