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British Food Production Wanes; Should the Government Step In?
Britain's lack of self sufficiency in food terms has been highlighted by the National Farmers' Union (NFU) who have called for an increase food production and for support for farmers. Currently the UK produces 62% of its own food, falling from 75% over the course of two decades, something the NFU president Peter Kendall describes as alarming.
Kendall goes on to criticise Britain's obsessive hunt for the cheapest source of food which has seen the import of food and drink reach £37.6 billion a year.
The NFU claims that concerns over reliability of food, including the recent horse meat scandal, and complications in the purchasing chain are in part, also to blame. In the article, published in the Telegraph, Kendall suggests that given the right market conditions and 'the confidence to invest', food production would increase significantly.
The British government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) disagrees with the NFU's concerns, suggesting that it "shows our farmers can be competitive and also that there are opportunities to increase their share of the market here. There are also opportunities to sell their produce in other countries.”