Brexit, food security and the South West

“There is a lot in the media at the moment about us losing food supplies, or having increased costs if there isn’t a deal, yet some of the suggestions about what we won’t have are clearly not well-considered.”

“Arguably the threat from Covid has already shifted markets; and climate change will require more adaptation.”

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There have been general concern about ‘food security’:

Local food: local resilience to global risk – Vision Group for Sidmouth

How to create a sustainable food system: an analysis – Vision Group for Sidmouth

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With the approach of Brexit, things have ratcheted up:

Could Brexit make my food more expensive? – BBC News

How a No-deal Brexit may affect UK food supplies, travel and economy | Daily Mail Online

Daily Mail’s post-Brexit meal guide creates Twitter frenzy | The New European

Forget Brexit and Lockdowns. England is Debating Pork Pies and Scotch Eggs. – WSJ

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And in the South West, there are real concerns:

New report lays bare the risks Brexit poses for Cornwall | News – Pirate FM

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Here is a personal comment from a correspondent:

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There is a lot in the media at the moment about us losing food supplies, or having increased costs if there isn’t a deal, yet some of the suggestions about what we won’t have are clearly not well-considered.
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This is where our food comes from:
… note that the food from within the country is minus the stuff we export.
We have large exports of pork and beef:
And we can export a lot of wine and fish too.
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The FDF has this:
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So when people say we import N% of our food they are not necessarily reflecting how well we could feed ourselves if we stopped exporting.
Some sources (such as Business Insider) say we will have no carrots: if we don’t, then it isn’t simply that there won’t be carrots but that we import a preferred variety and export the ones we produce. It is much the same as the ‘wonky vegetable’ problem where supermarkets stipulate size and shape.
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This is about wheat and where we buy it:
We import 15% of the wheat we use and export 5% of the wheat we grow. Strangely, despite media claims, you won’t have to do without pizzas because you can make them with any wheat flour…
See also:
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This is the list of things we import, most of which are not life-threatening if they are disrupted … medicines obviously are:
59.1% of our imports come from European countries of which 50.2% is from EU member countries …. so there is the possibility of confusion between the Continent of Europe and the EU when people are reporting facts. Although in some cases we import the majority of certain foods from the EU we are never totally reliant on one country or trading bloc for all our supplies so although it may take time to shift where we buy things from it is possible.
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Arguably the threat from Covid has already shifted markets; and climate change will require more adaptation:
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And the West Country has good local production of all sorts of foodstuffs:
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So, should we be reassured about ‘food security’ in the South West as Brexit approaches?
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