Greens call for emergency food security summit as Ukraine invasion hits ‘breadbasket of Europe’

11 March 2022

* A plan to address the underlying causes of food poverty

* Emergency investment in sustainable food production to increase domestic supply

* Transform farming to help tackle the climate and ecological emergency

* Halve the UK’s 10 million tons of food waste

With the UN World Food Programme warning that the war in Ukraine threatens to disrupt a third of the world's wheat market and double global wheat prices [1], the Green Party has called for an emergency food security summit, alongside action on the cost of living crisis, to tackle the underlying causes of food poverty. They also argue this is the opportunity to invest in sustainable methods of food production which work to capture carbon while improving soil quality and biodiversity. 

Adrian Ramsay, co-leader of the Green Party, said:

“Ukraine has been one of Europe’s bread baskets for centuries. The Russian invasion will inevitably lead to food shortages and spiralling food prices, further exacerbating the cost of living crisis. 

“That’s why the Green Party is calling for an emergency food summit alongside action to address the underlying causes of food poverty. 

“Such a summit must involve farmers and food producers in planning how we can immediately increase the UK food supply. This is the time to learn from the good work of many UK farmers who are demonstrating how agriculture can help tackle the climate and ecological emergency and supply healthy and sustainable food. In particular, we need to adopt farming methods that end our dependence on imported fossil fuel based fertilisers and focus on growing grains for human consumption not for farmed animal feed. 

“Farming currently contributes up to a third of global greenhouse gas emissions [2] and has played a significant part in the two thirds loss of wildlife in the last 50 years [3]. We need to seize this opportunity to turn this around and adopt farming methods which work to capture carbon while improving soil quality and biodiversity.

“We also need to end the scandal of 10 million tons of edible food waste per year in the UK [4]. An emergency summit must look at what action we need to take to halve this waste mountain - an aim that is in line with UN goals.  

“We must tackle food poverty and transform farming and food production into the secure, sustainable and healthy alternative we know it can become.” 

Notes

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-60653856 

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/13/meat-greenhouses-gases-food-production-study

[3] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-54091048 

[4] https://www.theguardian.com/news/2021/sep/04/how-food-waste-is-huge-contributor-to-climate-change 






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