The inquiry, which was announced today, is designed to ensure that UK farming and food sectors are sustainable enough to meet the global challenges we face. It is the second inquiry EFRA has conducted into food security. The last one was carried out in 2009.
Globally, climate change, population growth, energy supply and water security are all putting pressure on food production and have the potential to lead to higher food prices. In the UK, food price inflation was 3.1% in 2012 compared with the previous year rising to 4.4% by the middle of 2013.
The new UK Strategy for Agricultural Technologies seeks to exploit opportunities to develop and adopt new and existing technologies, products and services to increase productivity.
GM technology is one option. Its supporters argue that it has the potential to increase crop yields and contribute to a more resilient agricultural system. However, others fear the unknown long-term environmental implications of this technology.
EFRA has invited written evidence, with a deadline of Tuesday December 10 2013. It is seeking evidence on the following issues:
- How best to improve UK (and EU) food security
- The relationship between the price of food and the cost of producing it
- Global food supply volatility
- The potential value of science and GM technology
- The contribution of food supply chains and traceability
- The impact of climate change
- Obstacles facing food producers
- Ways of increasing self sufficiency
Further information on the inquiry, visit EFRA's website.