Food production must become a strategic priority for the government, the Food & Drink Federation has warned in response to the Food & Rural Affairs Committee’s report on food security.

The report, released today, claims the UK is morally obliged to contribute to securing future global food supplies by making the most of the its temperate climate and the advantages it brings for growing fruit, vegetables and cereals.

As well as being a vital part of the UK economy, food manufacturing had a key strategic role to play in ensuring the nation’s future food security against the combined effects of climate change, increasing pressure on finite resources and higher global demand, said the FDF communications director Julian Hunt (pictured).

“We believe it is critical that we build on our sector’s inherent strengths by developing a clear vision for production in this country – one that places food and drink manufacturing at the heart of all government thinking,” Hunt said.

“We need a policy framework that recognises sustainable food production as a top government priority in its own right and provides clear support for our sector… to attract the skills and investment required to enhance our productive potential.”

The FDF backed calls by the committee for the Government to increase public funding for food and farming research that will provide the innovation it needs to meet future challenges.

The committee had earlier warned in its report that the era of cheap supermarket food would soon draw to a close soon due to a number of global factors.

“Food must be affordable to the consumer but its price must also make it worthwhile to produce it in the first place,” the report said.  “An agricultural system must be profitable to be healthy.”