Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Food security after Brexit

The Food Research Collaboration has published a report authored by Professor Tim Lang and three other leading analysts on food security after Brexit: Feeding Britain

Three main issues are considered:

  • The question of whether the Government is paying enough attention to agri-food in the negotiating process, given its central role in both public well-being and the national economy.
  • The threat a careless Brexit poses to the UK’s short-term food security – and any long-term attempt to develop a genuinely sustainable food strategy for the whole of the UK.
  • The risk generated to the UK’s status as a potential trading partner of the EU by the Food Standards Agency’s decision to press ahead with major reform of UK food safety regulation, at a time when regulatory stability and clarity have never been more important.

The report notes, 'Like all systems operating to finely tuned specifications, the UK food system is fragile and vulnerable to disruption. Contracts for food supplies are typically set 12 months ahead. UK food comes via a complex logistics system run on a just-in-time basis, i.e. three to five days’ supply. There are only tiny food stocks, commercial or public, held in the UK’s food distribution chain.'

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