30% of the global supply of wheat, 19% of corn, 50% of sunflower oilseed, a significant proportion of fertiliser are being taken out of the world’s food trading system — and, here in the UK, we will be affected by the closing down of a major seasonal labour source to the UK.
We had warning, as this post from IFPRI pointed out on 24th February: How will Russia’s invasion of Ukraine affect global food security?
A note regarding fertiliser shortages:
- Farmers are entering a crucial stage in the season in which input factors (fertiliser, seeds, water) will determine the harvest yield later on.
- Reuters report Norwegian fertiliser company, Yara assess25% of European supply of nitrogen, potash and phosphate come from Russia.
- Yara told Schroders that harvests could be down 50% as a result.
- And that 80% of of all exported potash comes from just three countries, Canada, Belarus and Russia — with 40% coming from the last two countries.
All of this in addition to the other frankly scary risks the food system is facing:
It’s deeply concerning how little consideration is given to future food shortages and scarcities here in the UK.
For example, what does the National Food Strategy say about preparing for them? Nothing. They didn’t mention Brexit, either, a major risk to UK food security; for more info, see our criteria-based assessment of their ‘Plan’ here.
The image at the top of this blogpost is of the monument on Freedom Hill in Kiev.