Expert Warns UK To Brace For Potential Food Shortages In 2024

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News in brief:
- Food shortages are predicted in the UK next year, particularly affecting fresh produce shelves, according to a food security expert.
– Factors such as global instability, domestic agricultural decline, and post-Brexit checks could lead to unprecedented shortages.

A stark warning has been issued about the alarmingly likely prospect of food shortages in the United Kingdom next year, with fresh produce shelves particularly at risk.

Professor Chris Elliott, a food security expert at Queen’s University Belfast, cites a confluence of factors driving this grim prediction. According to Elliot, things like global instability, domestic agricultural decline, and post-Brexit checks could cause unprecented shortages.

He remarked that ongoing global conflicts and climate change are jeopardising agricultural production worldwide and expects them to impact food availability and security for food importing nations like the UK. Accoding to the government website, the region imported £58.1 billion worth of food, feed and drink in 2022.

Furthermore, he observed how the looming crisis adds to a year already marked by sporadic shortages of eggs, oil and even vegetables. Elliott emphasised that it’ll be about affordability and availability, with empty shelves becoming a more frequent reality in 2024.

Subsequently, the food security expert said the situation could be averted by taking a page from Singapore’s playbook by investing in domestic food production.

Currently, the UK imports a staggering 46% of its food, primarily fresh produce. The National Farmers’ Union opines that boosting domestic food security by setting ambitious production targets, similar to existing climate and energy goals, is crucial.

However, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs counters the claims of impending shortages, asserting that the UK produces 60% of its food needs. The body said that it is also equipped to handle disruptions. They affirmed their commitment to implementing the Border Target Operating Model, which they believe will protect food supply chains while minimising business burdens.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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