He has welcomed a statement from the former Director-General of MI5, Baroness Eliza Mannigham-Buller who said the Government needs to be consistent in planning for food supply, as it is a part of the UK’s national infrastructure.
“I believe that food is part of our critical national security, including the essential workers that grow it and harvest it, the farmers that produce our crops, meat, vegetables, fruit and even wine,” she said speaking at the National Farmers Union fifth annual Henry Plumb lecture.
“Unless we pay serious and thorough attention to our food security, we risk being increasingly subject to global shocks. We need to acknowledge that we should produce as much of our own food as possible and to be able to export what we can, both for growth in the UK economy and to help feed the world.”
This news comes as the NFU recently called on the Government to support British food or it faces “sleepwalking” into a food supply crisis. The organisation has said that it is a “stark choice” but the Government need to back British food production to secure a home-grown supply of sustainable food or risks seeing more empty shelves in the nation’s supermarkets.
Last month a report from Lloyds and WTW called Farm to fork: Rethinking food supply chains highlighted several key factors driving risk across food and drink supply chains, including economic pressures, demand changes, labour changes, technology, transport, geopolitical and political risk, climate change and sustainability.
Goodwill welcomed the fact the issue of food security was being raised.
“I welcome Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller's contribution to the debate on food security. She is right to highlight the links between food security and national security, particularly in these extremely worrying times of war in Europe, high food inflation and relentless pressures on our farmers and food producers,” said Goodwill.
“The Committee’s investigation into this topic is still ongoing and we will be hearing from a DEFRA Minister in the New Year to discuss government policies on self-sufficiency and land use to see how we can ensure the UK continues to benefit from a robust, fair and resilient food supply chain”.