The Fresh Produce Consortium has accused incoming Soil Association president Monty Don of living in "cloud cuckoo land" over his views on domestic food production.

Don reportedly said last week that he believed food would have to be produced locally and imports restricted, even if that meant less trade for developing countries. He also cited Cuba as a country self-sufficient in staple foods.

However the FPC said such proposals would deprive farmers in developing countries of income. "To suggest that the UK should resort to the struggles experienced by those in Cuba after the break up of the Soviet Union is laughable," the FPC added.

The organisation said a proper debate was needed to find ways of tackling climate change, but added that the concept of food miles generated a false sense of eco-security.

The FPC also said Don's idea to get Britain's gardeners to transform gardens and parks for growing vegetables was "ridiculous".