Committee calls on ministers to protect fresh food imports

Environmental committee calls on ministers to protect fresh food imports
18/09/2019 - 05:00
The environmental audit committee has called on ministers to create a clear plan to protect the UK’s food supplies from the climate emergency, it was reported by The Guardian.

One fifth of the fresh food imported by the UK comes from areas threatened with climate chaos.

Mary Creagh, the chair of the environmental audit committee, said: “We are facing a food security crisis, exacerbated by uncertainty over the UK’s future trading position with the EU and the rest of the world.

“Ministers must now publish all the information they hold from Operation Yellowhammer on food security and likely costs in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”

Operation Yellowhammer is the name for the UK Government’s contingency plan to prepare for leaving the European Union (EU) without a deal. In the case of a no-deal Brexit people could be at risk of increased food prices, delays and shortages.

Beyond Brexit, the climate emergency and changing trade relations may put British diets at risk. MPs have called for a national food council that would cover food production, public health issues and nutrition.

The chancellor, Sajid Javid, has unveiled plans for a new Treasury study on ‘the economics of biodiversity’ to be led by Sir Partha Dasgupta and Sir David Attenborough.

Vicki Hird, a farming campaigner at the Sustain civil society organisation, added: “The MPs are spot on with this report, given the climate emergency and size of the challenge.

“We now have a highly vulnerable, unsustainable and inefficient food system that needs to be repaired using all the tools available. A [government] champion putting this all together coherently would be handy.”

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