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Thread: Will the UK be able to feed itself after Brexit?

  1. #21
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    Those EU food suppliers to England will just plow their products into the earth and that will show those damn Brits a thing or 2.
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    As I understand the UK is able to produce something like 80-90% of it's food.

    The estimates in the OP are higher than I have read, but we are also ignoring that the UK is a major food exporter.

    So if we didn't export, suddenly we start getting very close to self sufficient, with the shortfall in produce nothign dramatic.
    I had it calculated as one meal in 8.
    We skip one meal in 8.

    So for a nation of fatties that is no problem.

    However I agree that we prefer more diverse tastes these days and also am not sure if we have all year round supply.


    Whatever the case this isn't WW2 anymore. We are not likely to starve without trade with Europe and there are also other cheaper sources for most of the produce the EU sells.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom-Cruise View Post
    Can the UK feed itself after Brexit?
    How much food does the UK currently produce?
    The UK grows 61% of the food it eats, according to the National Farming Union (NFU),Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City, University of London, and DEFRA’s Agriculture in the UK paper (July 2017). Government sources sometimes quote a figure of 75% but this excludes ‘non-indigenous’ items such as exotic fruit – bananas and mangoes, tea, coffee and spices – foods that cannot be grown (either at all or on a meaningful scale) in the UK.
    and historically?
    To find the highest historical rates for self-sufficiency in Britain, you need to go back to the 18th century, according to Professor Lang. Historic modern-day lows include the eves of the First World War and Second World War, when we produced only around 33% of our food. The recent high was 82% in the early 1980s.
    FRUIT AND VEG
    The UK currently has a huge deficit in fruit and vegetable production/Credit: Getty
    The UK has a huge deficit in fruit and vegetable production. In 2015, imports of fruits to the UK were valued at £3.1 billion; imports of fresh vegetables (excluding potatoes) at £2.1 billion.Source: Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB)
    UK exports of fruit and vegetables were valued at £199 million in 2015, less than 4% of the value of imports. The UK is self-sufficient in pre-packed potatoes but imports processed potatoes.
    Britain and the EU
    Currently, the UK produces 80% of its cheese, with 20% coming from the EU/Credit: Getty
    How much food do we currently import from the EU? Britain produces 80% of the cheese and beef consumed by the nation, but over half of our vegetables are imported.
    Source: British Retail Consortium
    WHEAT
    Rapeseed harvesting in the UK/Credit: Getty
    In 2017, the UK produced 15.2m tonnes of wheat. Of the annual crop, around 14% is exported. Over the past 10 years, imports account for an average of 11% of UK wheat demand.
    Source: AHDB
    Can the UK feed itself?
    NO says Meurig Raymond, president of the NFU
    "We will never be self-sufficient in food production in the UK," says Meurig Raymond, president of the NFU. “The population is rising and there is huge demand for crops that cannot be grown here, society has grown used to so much being available all year round. Can we increase self-sufficiency? Definitely.”
    YES says Professor Tim Lang
    “Yes, but it depends on what we eat,”says Professor Tim Lang. “We’ll have to cut eating meat down to once a week. We have to rebuild our horticulture and put more money into primary food production. There has to be a shift in how we grow our food.”
    Norfolk-based Hodmedod’s, a British pulse and grain supplier and 2017 Food and Farming Award-winner, was asked by Transition Norwich to see if the city could become self-sufficient. “We looked at land use and nutrient requirements and calculated the city could feed itself with a six-mile hinterland,” says Josiah Meldrum, Hodmedod’s co-founder. “But this would require significant land use and dietary changes. It would mean eating less meat and eating the vegetable protein that would usually be grown for animals.”
    Cattle farming in the UK/Credit: Getty
    Food import figures
    79% of the food and drink we import comes from the EU
    11% is from countries granted Most Favoured Nation status, such as the USA, China, Brazil and Australia.
    9% comes from bilateral agreements with countries such as Canada, Norway and Chile.
    1% from Generalised Scheme of Preferences (lower than WTO tariffs), such as India, Ukraine and Iran.
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    Yes, but they don't taste very nice.

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