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Food Supply

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to improve food security in Great Britain. (136081)

[holding answer 8 May 2007]: My Department published Food Security and the UK: An Evidence and Analysis Paper, a wide-ranging study on Food Security, in December 2006.

DEFRA is improving food security by promoting continuity and contingency planning in the food chain. By strengthening trading relationships, based on more open international markets and reductions in trade distorting subsidies, we increase UK food security by unlocking access to a diversity of supply sources.

In a modern economy, the production, availability and distribution of all our food is dependent upon a secure energy and fuel supply, as well as upon other transport infrastructure. It is clear that our food chain—whatever the degree of agricultural self-sufficiency—relies on various forms of energy and that energy security is a primary concern. The Government's ‘Energy Review’, published in July 2006, specifically considered how our energy security can be maintained and enhanced in an uncertain world.

The food retailers have robust and resilient business continuity plans to deal with any threat of disruption. DEFRA works closely with all parts of the industry to ensure that appropriate support is provided.