New Market Monitoring Core Group to look at food security issues

12 April 2022

War in Ukraine
Spring wheat

At the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the NFU submitted a core set of policy asks to government to help farming businesses cope with the extreme cost inflation and the knock-on impacts. One of these asks was the formation of the MMCG (Market Monitoring Core Group).

The MMCG provides a forum for government officials and industry to work together to identify and quantify the risks facing food production over the coming months and years.

The group has already met and is planning to meet frequently. In the coming months we will be seeking NFU members' help to gather data and opinions. 

Government policy-making is ruled by evidence and data, so any policy changes we seek need to be backed up by facts and figures.

A traditional ‘crisis’ in agriculture tends to come out of the blue and be associated with low prices.

Long-term impacts

The impacts of the war in Ukraine will be escalating costs.

The knock-on impacts on our industry’s productive capacity will be affected well into 2023 and 2024.

It is crucial that the government and industry work together to understand the possible impacts across our sectors and what mitigations will be needed.

Intervening early to mitigate effects

The role of the MMCG is to identify what some of the most challenging scenarios might look like and provide evidence to support any policy interventions that might be needed.

The group‘s objective is not to try and predict what will happen but help government understand the scenarios that could pan out over the next couple of years.

The MMCG first met in early April and considered the challenges around the price and availability of fertiliser in several sectors as well as the availability of organic feed raw materials.

The group agreed that it would construct a timeline framework (essentially a production timeline) across the sectors. These will span the next two years and will support Defra to understand when key production decisions are being made, lead in times and what key data is needed.

We'll need your help

There is a key role for NFU members to play in responding to various surveys that will be carried out over the coming months.

The results of theses surveys will help evidence the scenario planning of the MMCG.

The group is, at the moment, meeting weekly. 

We will keep you updated of progress, which in turn will help businesses plan in the months to come. 

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