NFU Scotland has heralded the publication of the UK Government’s vision for food production in the UK as welcome recognition of the growing importance that farming will play in meeting ambitious targets in the future.
NFU Scotland Chief Executive,
Food 2030, launched by Hilary Benn, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs at the Oxford Farming Conference, sets out the UK Government’s view of food production in 20 years time. The Scottish Government’s food and drink strategy, titled ‘Recipe for Success’, was launched in June 2009.
NFU Scotland Chief Executive James Withers said:
“We have long advocated that a strong, successful farming sector is the cornerstone upon which politicians can base any strategies that look to tackle the growing number of concerns centred around future food supplies and sustainable production.
“Food 2030 may be the first food strategy to emerge from a UK Government in more than half a century, but it represents welcome recognition that a joined-up food strategy is urgently required and that farmers and growers are a key part in delivering it. The UK vision mirrors much of what the Scottish Government published in its 2009 strategy for Scotland’s £10 billion food and drink industry and it is important that both administrations work together to deliver for the sector.
“Agriculture is arguably facing its greatest ever challenge. By 2030, it must provide the nutritional requirements for a growing global population by increasing food production by 50 percent. However, it must produce more food from less land, use less water, reduce its usage of energy and fertiliser, and continue to cut greenhouse gas emissions....all within the next 20 years.
“History has shown us how responsive agriculture can be so I have no doubt that these future challenges can be met. However, the resilience and ingenuity of the agriculture industry must be matched by Government investment in education, skills, science and renewables. The Defra plan for 2030 sets out that framework but it will be judged by farmers on delivery.
“Food 2030 also recognises that all parts of the food supply chain have responsibilities. A fair supply chain, which rewards progress, rather than reduces margins for those at the production end will be critical. The Tories used a platform at the Oxford conference to confirm their commitment to the creation of an Ombudsman to police relationships in the grocery sector. That is most welcome and we hope that this provides the necessary impetus that would allow the UK Government to come to the same conclusion and accept the Competition Commission’s recommendations on this matter.”
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