The longer-term impacts on farming

The longer-term effects of the crisis on the wider food and farming industry – and the impact on the supermarkets and food availability for consumers.

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The Food Programme today looks at the impact of the current crisis on how we deal with food:

Local community support through food

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They ask Kath Dalmeny, CEO of Sustain if something positive would come out of this – her answer being that as well as not forgetting our cooking skills and that people will still be isolated and not well-fed – we must appreciate our farmers:

sustainweb.org

Sustain: The Alliance For Better Food And Farming

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Indeed, yesterday’s Countryfile on BBC 1 was quite harrowing, showing the stress that farmers are under:

Countryfile | bbc.co.uk

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We need to look after our farmers in these times:

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Nick Horob on Twitter: “”Without farming you would be hungry …

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The news pages of the VGS site have attempted to keep abreast of what’s been happening to farmers and farming of late – and the issues around food production generally:

Local food: local resilience to global risk

How is food produced and where?

In My Back Yard: new East Devon food network

The future of the farming and food industries

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Here’s a good place to go for up-to-the-moment information on the farming industry:

Coronavirus: Your one-stop blog for food industry updates | foodnavigator.com

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Consultants Andersons look at the longer-term effects of the crisis on the wider food and farming industry – and the impact on the supermarkets and food availability for consumers:

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Policy: The severe shortages of food availability in the shops, and the images of desperate panicbuying shoppers might encourage Defra, and Government more widely, to rethink its policies on food security. Currently, there is peace of mind in Defra that 80% of our imports have been from ‘friendly neighbours’ in the EU. Might Defra consider that more home-produced goods could be a strategic benefit?
Industries will also look towards Government to support the rebuilding of the UK economy when this calms down. The cost will be immense. Whether it will mean major infrastructure projects like HS2 will be postponed remains to be seen.

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Supply Chains: Following the horsemeat scandal of 2013, some food supply chains went to great effort to shorten their linkages, source from fewer and more local outlets. Perhaps this will do the same. ‘Local food’ almost became a brand in its own at that point, certainly becoming more powerful than simple patriotism when swaying shoppers how to buy.

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Globalisation: The expansion of global trade routes since 2000 has been considerable, and given consumers more choice, lower inflation, cheap goods and created cost savings. However, events like Covid-19 could lead to new procurement policies, with maximum percentages from certain countries or suppliers, for example. Will this lead to a refocus on nationalisation, albeit for a short while? It might fit with some of the Brexit mantras we have been hearing.

   
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