At the recent AIC conference, where the organisation called for the establishment of an independent UK Food Security Committee a few members of our team saw key figures from industry, government, science, and banking debating issues like food security, sustainable farming, and the protection of natural capital.
Hot on its heels, the NFU called for the government to ‘take a meaningful interest’ in food production ahead of the Global Food Security Summit in London, which took place on 20th November.
Organised by the UK government, the summit focused on the worsening global food security crisis, world hunger, and malnutrition. World leaders and experts on food security attended to debate and gain support for solutions to these complex global issues.
The importance of investment and fit-for-purpose policy for agriculture
One of the solutions highlighted was investment in cutting-edge science and innovation, and this is needed, alongside government policies which boost sustainable, profitable food production, said NFU President Minette Batters.
Prior to the summit, Batters highlighted the importance of investing in the agricultural sector to improve national and global food security. Against a backdrop of extreme and changeable weather, war in Europe, uncertainty around government policy, and rising costs, farm businesses are vulnerable. Farmers and growers must be supported to weather the various storms they are facing while adopting more sustainable practices and feeding a growing population.
Treat farmers fairly and support them with policy says NFU
This is where the government comes in says the NFU. If governments take a meaningful interest in food production by making sure farmers are treated fairly and introducing policies that boost sustainable and profitable food production, farm businesses will be able to invest in the future and produce high quality, climate-friendly food for markets at home and abroad.
The key to achieving global food security, says Batters, is having the right policies in place and having the knowledge and techniques available. She was clear that this would require collaboration from policy and lawmakers across the globe to ensure fair supply chains, investment in infrastructure, and focused attention on climate adaptation and mitigation within agriculture.
Collaboration is key to achieving food security
Many of us, at least in the global north, are used to being able to get the food we want, when we want it. But with increasing global food insecurity, we can no longer afford to take food for granted, says the NFU. Collaboration at local, regional, and national level must happen if national and global food security is ever going to be achieved.
At the summit in London, The UK’s new International Development White Paper on food insecurity was also announced. The White Paper addresses food insecurity as one of the most pressing global challenges we face, and sets out how alongside giving financial aid, the UK will work in partnership with other countries to drive global policy change to tackle issues like poverty and climate change.