This report is an analysis of statistical data on food security in the United Kingdom.
It is the first in a series of reports which will be published under a new duty in the Agriculture Act 2020 to report to Parliament on food security in the United Kingdom at least once every three years.
The UK Food Security Report (UKFSR) examines past, current, and predicted trends relevant to food security, to present the best available and impartial analysis of food security in the UK, and to lay the groundwork for future Food Security Reports.
Food security is a complex and multi-faceted issue. To address the subject’s many diverse aspects, the UKFSR is structured around five principal ‘themes’, each addressing an important component of modern-day food security in the UK. They are as follows: global food availability, which describes supply and demand issues, trends and risk on a global scale, and how they may affect UK food supply;
UK food supply, which looks at the UK’s main sources of food at home and overseas; supply chain resilience, which outlines the physical, economic, and human infrastructure that underlies the food supply chain, and that chain’s vulnerabilities; household-level food security, which deals with issues of affordability and access to food; and food safety and consumer confidence, which details food crime and safety issues.
The report draws on a broad range of published statistical data from government and other sources. These quantitative sources are supplemented with case studies and qualitative analysis where necessary and helpful. In some cases, where quantitative evidence is not available due to data being limited or confidential, or where the report references recent events which are not yet reflected in published statistics, only qualitative analysis is available.
What is food security?
Food security has many dimensions. As a topic, it encompasses the state of global agriculture and markets on which the UK is reliant; the sources of raw
materials and foodstuffs in the UK and abroad; the manufacturing, wholesale, and retail industries that ultimately bring food to shelves and plates, and their complex supply chains of inputs and logistics; and the systems of inspection that allow consumers to be confident their food is safe, authentic, and of a high standard.
Accordingly, this report examines the issue of whether the UK is food secure across five ‘themes.’
- Theme 1: Global Food Availability
- Theme 2: UK Food Supply Sources
- Theme 3: Supply Chain Resilience
- Theme 4: Food Security at Household Level
- Theme 5: Food Safety and Consumer Confidence: the activities of the Food Authenticity Network and Centres of Expertise are featured in this theme.
Read full report (pdf version) and a fully accessible HTML will be available shortly.
As this is the first in what will be a series of reports to be published, government is very happy to receive written feedback on the content of the UKFSR at email@example.com and there is also an online questionnaire you can find here.