A draft paper: UK preparedness for future food system shocks

This is the latest version of the short report under preparation: UK preparedness for future system shocks_9thJuly2020.

  • Please do send us (via: info@birminghamfoodcouncil.org) comments on it, and/or suggest amendments so we can take account of what you’ve said and publish a final version soon.
  • note: The purpose of this document and this review process
    • The impact of Covid lockdown on food supplies throws a harsh spotlight on our response and preparedness for potentially much worse to come; e.g. a mid-winter crash-out Brexit and/or extreme weather events affecting harvests.
    • The arguments & discussions around the document will, we hope, contribute to all of us recognising trouble ahead earlier than we would otherwise.

Several people we’ve been consulting since mid-March for our Covid-19 commentary queried whether or not the UK had stockpiles of safe, nutritious foods for crisis situations such as this pandemic. Comparisons were made to the un-met requirement in March for PPE. Or drugs in the event of a hard Brexit.

Should the UK have stockpiles of safe, nutritious food? If, so, how would such a stock system be set up? What would its structure be? Its governance?

Since the beginning of June, we’ve been interviewing a range of people about the possibility of the UK having such capacity. The draft above is our current thinking in response to what they’ve said and discussed.

The Birmingham Food Council is a Community Interest Company registered in England and Wales number 8931789