General manifestos ignore food shortage risks, says farmers and retailers

Farmers and retailers have said that the UK’s political parties’ general manifestos have ignored the country’s severe food shortage risks, in what they describe as a “worrying blind spot”.

In a letter signed by both the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the industry bodies address the leaders of the leaders of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, accusing them of overlooking the issue, reported The Guardian.

Voicing their criticism at the politicians’ lack of attention to food security, in their drive to garner votes, the letter said: “The basic responsibility of any government is to ensure its citizens are safe and properly fed.

“But while we have heard much about defence and energy security in recent weeks, we have heard very little about food security.

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“The lack of focus on food in the political narrative during the campaigns demonstrates a worrying blind spot for those that would govern us.”

The letter was also signed by other bodies including the Food & Drink Federation (FDF) and UK Hospitality.

It comes amid a year of tough conditions for producers which include extreme weather and rising production costs which have impacted supplier abilities to plant and grow crops.

Many supermarkets have taken the issue in their own hands, by introducing schemes that support suppliers during bouts of difficult periods, such as Lidl, who in January, invested £70m transform its British root veg suppliers to new long-term contracts in a bid to offer more certainty and security.

President of the NFU Tom Bradshaw added he was concerned that food security had not been the topic of any of the parties campaigning.

The parties have pledged a series of measures relating to the wider farming sector, including Labour’s promise for half of all food purchases across the public sector to be locally produced, the Conservative’s vow to pour £1bn in the industry and the Liberal Democrats’ proposal to introduce ‘public money for public goods’ programmes for farmers



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