Recording/comment: Media briefing ahead of No 10 food summit

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is hosting a UK Farm to Fork Summit at Downing Street.

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By George Smeeton

info@eciu.net

Last updated:

On Tuesday 16th May, the Prime Minister is hosting a UK Farm to Fork Summit at Downing Street, bringing together farmers, retailers and others in the food supply chain to discuss issues around food production and food security.

Ahead of the summit, a recording of a media briefing with experts that took place today is available here: https://we.tl/t-TKoAI2IOFw

Additional comments are below. For any further questions or interview requests, please do get in touch.

Tom Lancaster, Head of Land, Food and Farming at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU):

“The Prime Minister’s food summit is a chance to get a grip on the impact of climate change and energy prices on the price and availability of food. In 2022, these two factors have been estimated to add around £400 to the average household food bill, as much as 88% of all food price inflation last year. The evidence is clear that getting UK farming off fossil fuels will be key to reducing price volatility, whilst helping our farmers adapt to a warmer, less predictable world.”

Vicki Hird, Head of Sustainable Farming, Sustain:

“The government cannot leave the nation’s food security in the hands of the supermarket chains alone. It needs a plan that includes more support for environmentally friendly farming, maintaining an independent Groceries Code Adjudicator, new, legally binding supply chain codes of practice, and a strategy to increase farmer focussed trading to ensure more agroecological, nature friendly food can reach customers.”

Martin Lines, UK Chair, Nature Friendly Farming Network:

"Our dependency on fossil fuel-based inputs and narrow fixation on commodity production has depleted the farm ecosystem on which all production depends. The food system has been increasingly commodified and consolidated, which has dramatically exposed our food and farming systems to risks and shocks. The Government needs to recognise that the twin challenges of producing healthy food and protecting the environment are closely connected. It needs to take a systems view of what we can grow and produce that is ecologically appropriate for the climate and the landscape that we have here in the UK."

Dr Pete Falloon, Climate Service Lead - Food, Farming & Natural Environment, Met Office:

“In a changing climate, the risks from extreme weather could impact every aspect of the UK food chain, from farm to fork. There is a pressing need for the sector to adapt and build resilience.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Background analysis:

Sustain: Unpicking food prices: Where does your food pound go, and why do farmers get so little? https://www.sustainweb.org/news/nov22-unpicking-food-prices-new/

The Food Foundation: Data Hub: https://foodfoundation.org.uk/data-hub

ECIU: Climate change, fossil fuels, and UK food prices: https://eciu.net/analysis/reports/2022/climate-change-fossil-fuels-and-uk-food-prices

ECIU: High fertiliser costs adding £78m to farmers’ monthly bills as fresh food shortages continue: https://eciu.net/media/press-releases/2023/high-fertiliser-costs-adding-78m-to-farmers-monthly-bills-as-fresh-food-shortages-continue

For more information:

George Smeeton, Head of Communications, ECIU, Tel: 07894 571 153, email: george.smeeton@eciu.net