In this blogpost, we put forward eight ways in which the UK food supply system could be put on a war footing, in addition to and as an integral part of radical actions in response to climate change: (a)
(1) Set up a Committee on Food Security, similar in remit and scope to the Committee on Climate Change. Set a Food Resilience Levy on all sector businesses.
(2) With full implementation within 3-5 years, invest in:
- The enforcement of regulations regarding food safety, assurance and integrity.
- Zero-carbon at-scale horticulture microclimate technologies, storage and facility technologies and associated distribution systems.
- Zero-carbon at-scale novel food design and production processes, and research into their impact on human health, including our gut biome.
- A distributed system of buffer stocks, rotated through a community service supply chain of surplus and wholesale produce provisioning a network of anchor institution and community canteens.
- The potential of run-off, slurry and human sewage in soil nutrient redistribution and sustaining unpolluted inland, coastal and marine waters.
(3) Reduce UK vulnerability to domestic or global harvest failure by slashing our dependence on cereal crops, home-grown and imported. Also on soy.
(4) Greatly reduce UK dependence on sugar beet production and sugar imports to improve population health while also releasing agri-resources for other crops.
(5) Curb the activities of companies that make or promote drug-foods, as we do tobacco and, to a lesser extent, alcohol companies. Include a steadily rising excise duty on all ‘food’ and beverages that carry standard-rate VAT (and add manufactured cakes to this category). Ensure these companies bear the largest burden of the Food Resilience Levy.
(6) Eliminate non-tariff barriers and re-establish free movement of labour between the UK and the EU27.
(7) Set up systems to (a) welcome migrants, many fleeing famine, climate breakdown and/or war, (b) learn from their experience and (c) value their contribution to society.
(8) All disaster and emergency plans to take account of food access for all. Publish annual reviews on each plan, and frequently rehearse them. Learn from strategic planning in already climate-vulnerable states; e.g. Bangladesh.
Click on the image below to access on our report:
See also the previous blogpost: