Minette Batters, the NFU president, has urged the Government to commit to “backing British farmers” and grow the country’s self-sufficiency levels. Speaking to Alastair Stewart on GB News, Ms Batters called on the Government to take Britain’s food independence “more seriously”. Mr Stewart suggested that “self-sufficiency is a pipe dream perhaps,” prompting a stern response from Ms Batters.
She responded: “I would say self-sufficiency is absolutely not a pipe dream
“It is front and centre of everything we need to shore up this country.
“It should be taken equally as serious as defences by this Government.
Earlier this week, the country marked Back British Farming Day amid a renewed push for self-sufficiency in the wake of Brexit.
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Ms Batters continued: “Back in 1947, we were only 30 percent self-sufficient in food. We had faced rationing and all sorts of challenges.
“Now, we are 60 percent self-sufficient. We are asking the government to not only commit and maintain the 60 percent level, but look to grow it.
“We have a maritime climate here, a fantastic climate for growing fruit and vegetables, and with climate change, people want to take responsibility for what we eat.
“Self-sufficiency really matters. Last year we all struggled to buy what we wanted when we wanted.”
Mr Clarkson added: “It should be as much encouragement as possible from the government to the farmers to actually get it back up a bit.
“If you’re thinking about the country as a whole and looking after the people in it, you have to look after the farmers who provide the food.”
The NFU has also called on the Government to analyse UK food security, covering the production of key foods and its contribution to global food security.
This would be the first meaningful assessment of UK food security in over a decade and the first under the requirements of the Agriculture Act that mandate reporting every three years.