CLA Wales, the rural economy experts, have welcomed Environment Secretary Hilary Benn’s call for a ‘radical rethink’ of how the UK produces its food. North Wales Assistant Director Dawn Harding Maddocks said it’s encouraging that DEFRA has finally recognised what the CLA has been proposing for some time.
She said: "It’s a positive move that at last DEFRA is sharing our longheld concerns about food supply and food security. It’s more than two years since at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair we began ramping up our worry over world food stocks and DEFRA’s approach.
"This is an important about turn from Treasury policy pronouncements of recent years, suggesting food security was an irrelevance. We have long been proposing that Food and Environmental security should be the driver of future EU policy post 2013.
"The challenge for Welsh policies such as Glastir as we have already said is to retain the human skills base to maintain and if necessary expand the productive capacity of Welsh agriculture as well as provide the attractive environment the public want.
"This includes smarter policies for scientific research, maintaining appropriate flood defences, and the use of water."
Ms Harding Maddocks was speaking following Mr Benn’s warning that climate change and population growth could damage the ‘fairly secure’ UK food supply. He was speaking at the launch of the government’s assessment of the threats to that security and the opening of a consultation with producers, supermarkets and consumers.
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