Back from the Future: Time to plan for UK food security

Our report Back from the Future is the culmination of our recent horizon scanning project. And it’s an uncomfortable read, looking out to a mere 6-12 years ahead, let alone towards 2050.

Four global forces, climate change, resource depletion, a rising population and pollution look set to wreak misery, devastation and death on many millions, if not billions of us within the next couple of decades, unless we radically change our current trajectory.

Data-driven precision technologies, corporate exigencies and consumer demand, protectionisms in all its forms — none is enough to ensure safe, nutritious food for all. Nor, even taken together, can they avert catastrophe.

Although the resources of the current Government are devoted to the UK’s relationship with the EU and political survival, the external forces on our food supply won’t cease. Indeed, they will become stronger.

Thus we recommend the Government sets up an independent UK Food Security Institute as soon as possible, and led by senior members of the MoD and/or intelligence community, with funding the next 20-25 years and a remit to:

➡ Draw up a long-term national food security strategy

➡ Advise the Government on new ‘sticks’ for the agri- food sector (restrictions, regulation, taxes), and ‘carrots’ (economic policy and investment) that will contribute to the delivery of the strategy

➡ Produce an Annual Report on the Government’s performance in meeting food security strategic goals

➡ For each incoming Government, provide a public update report on the Institute’s long-term strategic analysis of global and UK food security.


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