December 12, 2018
UK poultry chairman calls for improvement of country's food supply
Poultry meat businesses in the UK had called for a food strategy that would bolster the country's food supply and "leave no one behind" during the British Poultry Council's Annual Reception and Awards event at the House of Commons on December 4.
Farmers and producers, according to the British Poultry Council, urged the UK government to ensure that British food - and the quality it represents - stays affordable and available for all consumers at every price point.
During the event, British Poultry Council chairman John Reed and the Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries George Eustice launched BPC's Vision 2019, a report highlighting the role of responsible businesses in helping deliver a comprehensive food strategy.
"As we look forward to the much-awaited Government Food Strategy, we want to start a conversation about the role of responsible businesses in delivering a food system that leaves no one behind," Reed said.
"Maintaining a secure supply of food is essential to feeding the nation. Whilst we must ensure that we have access to the labour we need and frictionless trade, we want to explore the role of responsible businesses in food security."
Reed stated that the UK is "among the most affordable nations in the world for food." He added: "...on the other [hand], we have seen a year-on-year increase in the use of food banks. British food must be at the forefront of fixing that dichotomy."
To meet the UK's food demand, Reed called for businesses to "come forward and help deliver a food strategy that is built on a sustainable, secure and trusted supply of food for all, produced to world-class standards."
The UK's food supply had especially faced a critical challenge in the form of the looming Brexit. "...access to food will become one of our nation's biggest challenges," Reed cautioned.
"If we cannot find a solution to labour (60% of our workforce is non-UK) and trade (the value of our exports has an effect on UK prices), then we run the risk of creating a two-tier food system with the average citizen forced to rely on imported food."
- British Poultry Council