The Renewable Energy Association has hailed yesterday’s government report The Future of Food and Farming as tackling “a debate that policymakers have been avoiding for too long”.
The report argues for fundamental change to the global food system and beyond if a rapidly expanding global population is to be fed over the next 40 years.
It concluded that the threat of hunger could increase, the global food system is living outside its means, consuming resources faster than are naturally replenished, and that there is “no quick fix” to these problems.
It recommended minimising waste in all areas of the food system and balancing future demand and supply in the food system and improving its governance.
The REA’s head of renewable transport, Clare Wenner, said: “This report is a timely reminder that we have to be responsible about how we use the world’s natural resources. The debate on biofuels has made us all think a great deal harder about sustainable production. The UK and the EU have sustainability rules for the production of biofuels. These can be rolled out to all sectors, investment in global agriculture must be stepped up and the world community must start thinking about much smarter land use.”
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: “We need a global, integrated approach to food security, one that looks beyond the food system to the inseparable goals of reducing poverty, tackling climate change and reducing biodiversity loss – and the UK government is determined to show the international leadership needed to make that happen.
“We can unlock an agricultural revolution in the developing world, which would benefit the poorest the most, simply by improving access to knowledge and technology, creating better access to markets and investing in infrastructure.”
Ms Spelman said that “to fuel this revolution, we must open up global markets, boost global trade and make reforms that help the poorest”.
She added that trade restrictions must be avoided, and price volatility must be managed “by building trust and cooperation – and in particular by creating greater transparency around the true levels of food stocks”.