NFU responds to Efra Committee Food Security Report

30 July 2023


NFU President Minette Batters

The NFU has responded to the Efra Select Committee’s publication of its Food Security Report, with President Minette Batters saying, “We have been calling for Government to take our national food security seriously for several years and we echo the Committee’s recommendation for strong leadership on the issue.

“As part of this leadership, the need for all Government departments to have a coordinated approach towards food policy is vital. We welcome the recommendation of a Cabinet Office review into all aspects of food policy.

“At such a tricky time for many UK households, the report addresses much of the inflationary pressures experienced by both families and farmers and growers. Everyone should have access to affordable, quality, sustainable food and British farmers and growers need the support of Government to have the confidence to continue producing. The reports’ finding that only 54% of the food eaten in the UK being grown here is shocking and it is concerning that this number could decrease further if British food and farming isn’t valued. 

“In the same week as CF Fertilisers announced it will be permanently closing its Billingham ammonia plant, the report’s acknowledgement of the risk of there only being one fertiliser factory in the UK is a timely one.  Availability of fertiliser is a crucial element of domestic food security and Government should look closely at how this could impact production.

“Food security matters and British farmers and growers are well placed to provide climate-friendly food for the nation, while protecting and enhancing our iconic countryside.

“Last summer the Prime Minister committed to introduce a new self-sufficiency target and annual reporting - clearly this needs to happen as a matter of urgency. With one of the best climates in the world for producing food, we should be aiming to produce more food here in the UK.

“For this to continue, we need to see Government act on the recommendations made by the Committee to bolster Britain’s food security.”


Notes to editor:

  • The NFU has been working for over a year to bring food security and self-sufficiency up the political agenda. In May the Government hosted the first Farm to Fork Summit, following NFU campaigning.