Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Monday 11 May 2009 @ 16:22
Global challenges such as population growth towards nine billion in 2050 and climate change highlight the need to develop sustainable food policies fit for the longer term.
The Ministers with responsibility for food sustainability from the UK Government, Scottish Government, Welsh Assembly Government and Northern Ireland Executive met in Edinburgh today to consider these challenges and opportunities for working together to address emerging issues.
Speaking in Edinburgh, Farming Minister Jane Kennedy said:
"Until recently, we have not had to worry about our food security in the UK. We've taken agricultural production for granted and the proportion of our income spent on food has plummeted. However the potential impact of climate change on the way we will need to live and work in the future has pushed food security up the agenda at an increasing rate and highlighted the need to identify sustainable ways to produce, distribute and enjoy what we eat.
"We need to acknowledge the challenges faced by us all, but also celebrate the successes of the UK's food producers and supply chain. UK farmers produce some of the best food in the world and are becoming increasingly aware of their impact on the environment."
The meeting, hosted by the Scottish Government, reflected the importance of food and drink, not just in economic terms but also through their contribution to healthy individuals and communities.
The meeting discussed sharing best practice from current and developing initiatives. In particular, the meeting identified opportunities for co-operative working in assessing food security issues and considering opportunities for collaborative research.
Ministers agreed that given the usefulness of this meeting, dialogue should be maintained and a similar event at ministerial level will be held later in the year.
NOTES TO EDITORS
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