Amid food shortages and spiraling costs of food worldwide, developing nations including India, have decided to hold on to their resources of staples such as rice, allowing only the most expensive varieties to be exported. Whilst such actions protect poorer populations from food price pressures which have seen 40-100% rises in food commodities and lead to food riots, what implications will they have on UK food availability and shopping habits?
We tend to assume that UK supermarkets will always be stuffed with cheap produce from around the world. Whereas previous generations worried about whether there would be sufficient food, we have the luxury of worrying about food quality and waste a third of all food we buy, often shipped in at huge environmental and human cost.
As high fuel costs push up the cost of importing food, perhaps we can turn to UK food production to sustain us. The answer is that we now only produce a dwindling proportion of our own meat, vegetable, dairy and cereal requirements. The farming industry in the UK has been run down in the rush to snap up cheap supermarket deals today.
We can do our bit by supporting local producers wherever possible – by supporting UK farmers we will ensure that agriculture in the UK does not perish and with it our chances of being free from the vagaries of the Global food markets.