The NFU issues a dire warning regarding UK food security action

In a field, a tractor

According to the president of the National Farmers' Union, time is running out for the government to protect the domestic food supply.

According to Minette Batters, labor shortages, high costs, the effects of climate change, and political unrest around the world continue to be a problem for farmers.

She issues her warning on the opening day of the NFU's annual conference.

A government spokesman claimed that its policy ensured environmentally friendly farming practices and long-term food production.

According to Mrs. Batters, costs for farming have increased by almost 50% since 2019, and the UK egg industry has seen a sharp decline in production due to the worst bird flu outbreak ever.

Never should the nation "take our food security for granted," she urged.

According to Mrs. Batters, "there are three cornerstones on which a thriving farming sector must be built and which any government should use to underpin its farming policy.". "They are managing volatility, enhancing productivity, and safeguarding the environment.

But time is running out. The clock is ticking for the government to begin fulfilling the commitments it has made in a way that is meaningful, real, and effective. ".

The NFU has previously issued warnings that many farms have reduced production to reduce losses due to high inflation and energy costs, which could endanger domestic food security and supply.

Customers may have fewer options for British food on supermarket shelves, NFU Cymru deputy president Abi Reader told BBC News.

She said, "There are sheds out there that should be growing fruit and vegetables.

"There are vacant sheds that ought to be home to chickens so they can lay eggs, but this food isn't getting through the system.

"Our costs are significantly rising. Most of this is related to the conflict in Ukraine, and some of it has to do with the fact that we are still adjusting to life after Brexit, but these rising input costs are so high that farmers simply cannot afford them.

Banks are concerned about lending, so people have simply reduced their spending, and businesses are producing less than they once did. ".

A pre-recorded message from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will be played at the conference on Tuesday, "Feeding a changing world.".

According to a representative of the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, "supporting British farmers and our rural communities is at the core of the government's manifesto, and we've committed to maintaining the £2.4bn annual farming budget which will support farmers to become more productive and profitable.

"Our new farming policies—which we laid out in great detail last month—ensure that environmentally friendly food production and conservation go hand in hand, with options for all types of farmers. Farmers and farming organizations have praised this. ".

The rural vote, according to Mrs. Batters, "will be crucial in the next election," and she vowed to "not let the opposition off the hook either.".

In his speech to the conference, Labour leader Keir Starmer stated that his party would uphold British food standards and improve farmers' trade relations with the EU.

The government claimed that its trade agreements would give UK farmers and food producers new chances to sell their products abroad while upholding standards for food safety and animal welfare.

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