Monday, 10 August 2009

Herbert criticises Labour for decline in food production

New figures from the Government's Food Security Assessment reveal a decade of decline across many areas of UK food production, with over 36,000 hectares of planted land for fruit and vegetables lost under Labour.

The UK's self-sufficiency in indigenous food has fallen by 9% from 82% in 1998 to 73% in 2008 and the UK trade gap in food, feed and drink has widened by 52% in real terms between 1998 and 2007 to £15.2 billion.

Shadow Environment Secretary Nick Herbert said: "The Government previously claimed that it was unnecessary to increase domestic food production, and under Labour Britain has become increasingly dependent on imports of food we could grow ourselves."

And he added, "It should be a strategic priority of government to increase self-sufficiency in food, yet the Government are refusing to take the steps to make this happen. They have increased the regulatory burden on British farmers; government departments continue to ignore British producers and procure foreign food, and Ministers refuse to introduce honest food labelling to benefit consumers and help support our domestic production."

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