Ukraine crisis: the risks and mitigations for UK food security

First published: 09 March 2022

Wheat fields

The conflict in Ukraine has triggered a humanitarian tragedy. Our thoughts are with all those coming to terms with the devastating effects of the conflict, which will be felt across the world. The disruption to food output, supply chains, availability and affordability, could last for many years. We look at the impacts, possible actions and policy changes needed.

Government attention is rightly focused on attempts to resolve the crisis. And, though we should in no way diminish national efforts to resolve the crisis, we must draw attention to dealing with the consequences for the UK.

Many other countries will be facing similar issues, which include economy-wide disruption that could last for many years, including to our food output, our food supply chains and the availability and affordability of food to consumers.

NFU President Minette Batters chaired a Ukraine crisis virtual event for members on 16 March looking at what the impacts of the war in Ukraine are and how they can be mitigated.

She said, “The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been devastating to the people who live there and we have offered assistance to Ukrainian farmers in any way possible. 

“The war has also focused attention on the importance and fragility of food security, both at home and abroad.  British farmers continue to stand ready to do all we can to ensure the public continues to have access to high-quality, affordable, climate-friendly food.

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been devastating to the people who live there and we have offered assistance to Ukrainian farmers in any way possible.”
NFU President Minette Batters 

“There are some clear short and long-term actions that government can take to maintain confidence and stability across the UK’s food producing businesses.  We have shared these with government and we want to stress that we stand ready to take these forward together, in order to navigate the extreme volatility we see today and expect to grow in the coming months.”

Risks for our food security

Multiple compounding factors have profound implications and risks for our food security, which we believe require urgent actions outlined below.

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