Lib Dem national president Tim Farron MP has said that the decline in the amount of food produced in the UK is a major reason behind the horsemeat scandal.
In the last 30 years, the proportion of food eaten in Britain that has been produced in Britain has fallen by 25%. The low prices paid by supermarkets to farmers have put hundreds of farms out of business – including 50% of dairy farmers since in 1995. Supermarkets now import much more meat as a result.
Tim Farron said: “Governments over the last few decades have failed to support our farmers, and so many of our farmers have left the industry, leaving supermarkets chasing cheap sources of food from overseas. This has clearly contributed to the horse meat scandal because most of these imports are meat products.
“The new Grocery Code Adjudicator must now make sure that our farmers get a fair price for their produce, and government must invest in research and development to help our farmers develop their business.
“There is nothing wrong with importing food that we cannot produce here, but it is barmy that we have to import so much food because we have too few people farming. Any country that cannot feed itself is in big trouble – the horse meat scandal is proof of that.”
Tim has called on the government to introduce a new food production strategy to ensure that the UK increases the amount of food it produces.
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