“Dig For Survival” says Farming Minister

Families have been told they will have to  grow more of their own fruit and vegetables to cope with food  shortages.

Farming minister David Heath recast the  famous World War Two slogan urging Brits to ‘dig for victory’ with a stark  warning of the need to ‘dig for survival’ in the future. New figures today showed fruit prices are  more than 10 per cent higher than last year with vegetable costs up 6.7 per  cent. Mr Heath warned Britain could not rely on  cheap imports to meet its food needs.

Disruption to the food chain triggered by  disease, conflict or bad weather hitting harvests would drive prices even  higher. Britain is on the verge of running out of  wheat after a year of terrible wet weather, with more than 2million tonnes lost  in last summer’s deluge. Farming minister David Heath said Britain could not rely  on cheap foreign imports. Farmers have also struggled to sow crops  for  the 2013 harvest, which is already predicted to be 25 per cent down  on  potential production. Households will have to consider  becoming more  self-sufficient to limit the impact of high costs and bare shelves, Mr Heath  warned.

He said: ‘With an increasing population,  increasing demand not just in  this country but across the world, we are going  to have to increase food production. ‘We made a huge mistake a few years ago when  the idea got around that we didn’t need to produce in the agricultural sector  any more, that we would be able to buy our way through whatever was necessary to  feed the country. ‘Once we used to “dig for victory”. There may  come a time soon when we need to “dig for survival”.’

New inflation figures published today show  how food prices have impacted on the cost of living. While the headline Consumer Prices Index  figure remained unchanged on 2.8 per cent, a detailed breakdown showed how food  costs have leapt in the last year.

In March 2013, fruit prices were 10.8 per  cent higher than in the same month last year while vegetables were up 6.7 per  cent.

Bread and cereals have risen by 3.6 per cent,  meat 2.4 per cent and items like sugar, jam and chocolate were 4.1 per cent  year-on-year.

Mr Heath told the Daily Telegraph that that  the idea of the public ‘digging for survival’ was ‘not overstating it by a  lot’.

He added: ‘We need to be able to produce  enough to deal with the requirements in this country. Food security is going to  be an issue of increasing relevance.

‘There is nothing that provides more  classical insecurity across the world than not being able to feed populations  adequately so we need to be aware of that and we need to respond to  it.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2309840/Dig-survival-Farming-minister-David-Heath-urges-families-grow-cope-food-shortage-crisis.html#ixzz2QhnbPqh7

Man digging garden

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    sarasinart said,

    Scary stuff. Prices are just part of it, and for your government to be encouraging people to do things to help themselves and everybody, great.


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