Agriculture

Britain's sustainable food future may be under threat from cuts to agritech

Agritech funding cuts will damage the food supply chain

By Rick Pendrous

The future of the UK’s agricultural technologies (agritech) strategy has been called into question after last year’s “savage cuts” in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ budget, which is likely to feed through into a reduction of its...

Terry Jones begins in new NFU role in April

NFU appoints Terry Jones as its new boss

By Michael Stones

The National Farmers Union (NFU) has appointed Terry Jones – currently director general of the Provision Trade Federation (PTF) – as its new director general.

Mars has formed the first global standard for sustainable rice with the Sustainable Rice Platform

Mars announces sustainable rice partnership

By Michelle Perrett

Mars Food, the owner of Uncle Ben’s, has announced the first global standard for sustainable rice in partnership with the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP).

Rabobank has set out seven tips for the food industry to get smarter

Food industry’s seven steps to meet population challenge

By Laurence Gibbons

The food industry must focus on seven key objectives in order to boost production and increase availability and access to food “significantly” over the next decade to meet the demands of a growing global population, according to Rabobank.

Insect food

Eating insects poses no special risks for humans

By Michael Stones

Edible insects pose no special risks to human health – when consumed directly or used as stock feed – according to a new risk assessment from the European food safety watchdog.

Chéron: Price stability is needed

Limagrain boss calls for price stability

By Rick Pendrous

The EU needs to adopt a new stabilisation model from 2020 to counter extreme volatility in prices for commodities, such as wheat and maize, caused by speculation in global markets, according to the boss of French grain co-operative Limagrain.

Agriculture minister George Eustice refuses to rule out AHDB privatisation

Conservatives may consider privatising the AHDB

By Rick Pendrous

The future of the agriculture levy boards, which form part of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB,) in public hands could be in doubt following the suggestion by a senior industry source that the Conservative government might consider...

GM cereals and oilseeds could harvest a range of benefits, the report claims

GM crop benefits hailed in independent study

By Michael Stones

Genetically modified (GM) cereals and oilseeds could benefit consumers, farmers and the animal feed supply chain, while boosting UK competitiveness in the global market, claims new independent research.

Welsh cattle farmers' fears have been dismissed by David Clarke

Red Tractor boss rejects Welsh beef accreditation fears

By Laurence Gibbons

Welsh beef farmers’ fears Red Tractor accreditation would “increase costs” throughout the supply chain without any return have been dismissed by David Clarke, boss of Assured Food Standards (AFS), which operates the Red Tractor quality assurance scheme.

Yacon is a natural source of fructooligosaccharides

Business Leaders’ Forum

Alara Wholefoods aims to create 17 new jobs

By Rod Addy

Alara Wholefoods aims to create 17 jobs over the course of this year off the back of strong demand for its organic and gluten-free muesli and other food lines.

Stormy outlook: People in developed countries were advised to radically change their diets

Sustainable diets needed to save the world from disaster

By Rick Pendrous

People in developed countries such as the UK need to completely change the food they eat if the world is to avoid a catastrophe from rising global food demand from a rising world population and climate change, a leading food security expert has warned.

Moy Park's David Mark (left) with chicken grower Graham McIlroy

Moy Park chicken grower raises its biosecurity game

By Rick Pendrous

Moy Park chicken grower Graham McIlroy has invested in a viewing gallery to improve the biosecurity at his farm at Aghadowey in what is a first for the Northern Ireland poultry industry.

Pesticides: vital tool or threat to food security and the environment?

Food prices would rocket if pesticides banned

By Michael Stones

Food prices would rocket if pesticides were banned or their use severely restricted, according to the National Farmers Union (NFU); a claim hotly disputed by environmental pressure group Friends of the Earth (FoE).

Worldwide growth in red meat consumption is unsustainable

Meat alternatives set to grow in popularity

By Nicholas Robinson

Increased global demand for meat will force food manufacturers to find innovative ways of using less but better meat or meat substitutes in their products, industry experts have predicted.

The meat industry could benefit from the research

Meat industry to benefit from research project

By Laurence Gibbons

A new research project could help protect the meat industry against the threat of climate change and food in security, according to the University of Edinburgh.

Research by small farm businesses could help boost crop yields

Farmer-led R&D crucial for sustainable food supply

By Rod Addy

Global agricultural yields are dropping and more farmer-focused research is urgently needed to strengthen sustainable food supply, according to an article published in Nature magazine.

National Farmers Union president, Meurig Raymond

Manufacture foods to showcase quality: NFU

By Nicholas Robinson

Farmers stepping into food manufacturing to supplement their incomes should use the opportunity to showcase the qualities of the rural sector, such as better food security and freshness, the National Farmers Union (NFU) president has said.

David Cameron's GM advisers have said the government needs to clearly communicate the challenges facing sustainable food production

GM food row: industry must tackle food security ignorance

By Rod Addy

If government and industry are to overcome unfounded opposition to genetic modification (GM) technologies, they should clearly communicate the challenges facing sustainable food production, the Prime Minister’s scientific advisers have claimed.

Harsh and unseasonable weather could slash crop and animal product yields

Weather now biggest threat to food security

By Rod Addy

Extreme weather poses the biggest threat to securing UK food supplies, experts at an Environment Food & Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee hearing claimed.

McDonald's aims to develop practices to help farmers meet sustainable beef farming principles

Fast food giant seeks to beef up farming practices

By Rod Addy

McDonald’s has stressed its commitment to sustainable beef supply standards and practices a year after the horsemeat affair began, claiming it aims to strengthen industry farming practices.

The environmental impact of local food initiatives is not necessarily better than mainstream manufacturing

Local food initiatives ‘not always greener’

By Gary Scattergood

Local food initiatives – which aim to slash the length of supply chains – are blossoming across Europe, but their impact on the environment is not necessarily better than that of mainstream manufacturing, a leading academic has revealed.

Conway: ‘You don't need large-scale private funding to do GM’

Former government advisor backs intensive farming, GM

By Gary Scattergood

The “sustainable intensification” of farming – including the use of genetic modification (GM) – is vital for feeding the developing world and enabling global manufacturers to secure enough raw materials to feed a growing population.

On the march: pests and diseases were moving north and south at an average of two miles a year, thanks to food trade and climate change

Food security threatened by climate change and trade

By Mike Stones

Food security is threatened by the global trade in farm products – which allows crop pests and diseases to spread worldwide – and climate change – which allows them to establish in new locations, according to new research published in the journal Nature...

The Agri-tech Strategy could transform UK food production, according to the Agricultural Development and Horticultural Board

Agri-tech strategy to herald a new ‘green revolution’ for food

By Mike Stones

British food manufacturers will be able to draw on food ingredients produced by a high output, environmentally friendly and progressive modern farming industry, thanks to the new “green revolution”, after the launch of an Agri-tech Strategy today (July...

Scotch whisky exports alone generate £4.2bn

Whisky industry swigs bitter dregs of CAP reform

By Rod Addy

The Scotch Whisky industry is threatened by Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform measures that could restrict Scottish malted barley supplies to distillers, despite changes being hailed as a food security breakthrough.

Food manufacturers and retailers should pay realistic prices in order to help boost production, said Professor Chris Pollock

Food science progress “doomed” without industry support

By Michael Stones

Scientific progress towards boosting food production, while minimising environmental impacts will be “doomed to failure” in the UK unless food manufacturers and retailers support primary producers with realistic prices, warns the editor of a new report,...

GM food R&D should be a top priority, said the report

Make GM food science research top priority: producers

By Mike Stones

Developing modern technologies and the genetic modification (GM) of crops and animals are the top two of eight research priorities identified by a group of primary producers bidding to influence the government’s agri-technology strategy, due to be launched...

The government’s new top scientific adviser’s pro GM view have reignited the debate about this controversial technology

Government's new top scientific advisor welcomes GM

By Andrew Williams

The government’s new chief scientific advisor, Sir Mark Walport, has stirred up the genetic modification (GM) debate by setting out his pro-GM view on the food supply chain.

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