UK News: Which of our would-be PMs will stop a food shortage asks MINETTE BATTERS

shortage: After sunflower oil and mustard, this flagship product of summer is missing in the 4 corners of hexagon

 shortage: After sunflower oil and mustard, this flagship product of summer is missing in the 4 corners of hexagon are we heading for a shortage of ice cubes? Epicocious and successive episodes of warmth and an exploding request were right for stocks. And the manufacturers of France, just like the leader ... thrown into a cocktail, a glass of pastis or a mojito, the ice cubes tear themselves off like hotcakes during the summer. But are they about to become the new white gold? This is what many professionals in the sector fear.

We live in a world facing an unprecedented and – let’s be honest – terrifying problem of where our food will come from. Not just in the years to come, but as soon as next month.

As President of the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), perhaps I will be accused of scare-mongering, of having a vested interest. But it’s not just farmers who are saying this. Global experts have talked of a food apocalypse.

David Beasley from the United Nations World Food Programme has warned of a global famine that should be taken as seriously as sending tanks to Ukraine.

Until February this year, most people had no idea of the critical role that Ukraine plays in feeding the world. But that has all changed. With food prices across the globe soaring as a result of the impossibility of exporting from Ukraine – on which much of the world is utterly reliant for wheat – we have all woken up to the importance of this one country, and the impact the invasion is having.

Germany: The fear of a gas shortage arouses a renewed interest in the coal

 Germany: The fear of a gas shortage arouses a renewed interest in the coal Fossil fuel was however less used in recent years, because emitting carbon dioxide, he is the main responsible for climate change. View onononews © EBU/DR coal briquettes with the cessation of Russian gas deliveries to the European Union, many countries, including Germany, turn to coal, however number 1 enemy of the climate. Ingo Engel is one of the last Leipzig coal traders in Germany . He wanted to retire for a long time, but his briquettes are in great demand at the moment.

We should all be deeply frustrated that there has been almost no attention paid to food production here at home Pictured: Minette Batters  © Provided by Daily Mail We should all be deeply frustrated that there has been almost no attention paid to food production here at home Pictured: Minette Batters

But it is not just the war in Ukraine. Changing weather patterns are also making it difficult to say with any certainty what harvests the world over are going to look like each year.

Many areas of Europe, including parts of the UK, are facing severe drought conditions. Italy has recently declared a state of emergency on water security, Portugal is seeing 95 per cent drought and Spain, from which we import a vast amount of our salad, fruit and vegetables, is also experiencing unprecedented water shortages.

This year we saw India decide to stop exporting grain on to the world market as a heatwave hit production there, while China experienced its worst harvest in a decade.

Why can't British police do this? Moment security staff ripped off protesters' superglued hands

  Why can't British police do this? Moment security staff ripped off protesters' superglued hands This is the bold moment an Italian security guard loses patience and tears a pair of eco-protestors' hands off a priceless Botticelli painting. It struck a contrast to the response by National Gallery guardsThe out-of-patience security official stormed over to the young pair and pulled their superglued hands from the Renaissance masterpiece shortly after they began their short-lived protest in the Uffizi Gallery on Friday morning.

The prospect of ‘food wars’ should be spurring all the world’s governments into action. There is a saying that we are only three meals away from anarchy – in other words, riots will break out if people miss three meals in a row.

I look down our supermarket aisles in awe at the British produce on the shelves: strawberries and raspberries, steaks, sausages and chicken drumsticks for our barbecues; wonderful cheeses such as Wensleydale © Provided by Daily Mail I look down our supermarket aisles in awe at the British produce on the shelves: strawberries and raspberries, steaks, sausages and chicken drumsticks for our barbecues; wonderful cheeses such as Wensleydale

Multiply that country by country and you start to get a sense of the upheaval that could result from a shortage of food.

So what is our Government doing to try to solve the problem? Not enough. We should all be deeply frustrated that there has been almost no attention paid to food production here at home.

In this country, we have prime conditions to produce food – we have the landscape, the weather and, of course, the knowledge. And, unlike many other countries, too much water at certain times of year: we can and should build more reservoirs to store water when there’s excessive rainfall, rather than let it run off into the North Sea.

Hero Tour de France fans take justice into their own hands and tackle Dernière Rénovation

  Hero Tour de France fans take justice into their own hands and tackle Dernière Rénovation Eight climate activists from Dernière Rénovation tried to stop the race during the 20th stage in Gramat between Lacapelle-Marival and Rocamadour but were stopped by Tour de France fans.Eight climate activists from French campaign group Dernière Rénovation (Last Renovation) sporting T-shirts emblazoned with the message 'we have 978 days left' to tackle environmental decline tried to stop the race during the 20th stage between Lacapelle-Marival and Rocamadouron on Saturday.

Yet, astonishingly, no government has delivered a clear plan to ensure we maintain even the volumes of food we are currently producing.

Farming underpins our largest manufacturing sector, the food and drinks industry, which is worth £120 billion to the British economy every year, and employs four million people Pictured; Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer during a visit to National Farmers' Union president Minette Batters' farm in Wiltshire © Provided by Daily Mail Farming underpins our largest manufacturing sector, the food and drinks industry, which is worth £120 billion to the British economy every year, and employs four million people Pictured; Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer during a visit to National Farmers' Union president Minette Batters' farm in Wiltshire

What we have had are plans to take more farmland away from production, to plant trees and provide homes for beavers. We’ve had plans for how we will build housing on farmland in our Green Belt. We’re building solar farms at pace and farmers understandably opt for them in order to reduce their exposure to the economic risks of food production.

But this begs the question: Why on earth do we not take food security as seriously as energy security?


Video: Rethinking farming: 80% of Tunisia's soft wheat imported from Ukraine (France 24)

To date we’ve had absolutely no plan or commitment from the Government that Britain will carry on its role as a food-producing nation.

Did Jordan Peele Dream Up A Huge Nope Sequence Almost A Decade Before The Film's Release?

  Did Jordan Peele Dream Up A Huge Nope Sequence Almost A Decade Before The Film's Release? Apparently, Jordan Peele had a dream about a sequence that was in Nope almost a decade before the film came out.Jordan Peele is a visionary director whose films helped bring out our fear in hypnotism, doppelgängers and now flying saucers. While flying saucers can freak anyone out, this Oscar-winning director can also make audiences afraid of chimps. Jordan Peele had a bit of a premonition of his latest release film, as it seems he dreamed up this terrifying sequence almost a decade before Nope came out.

Quite often, the farmers’ view is that our role as food producers is being made more difficult, rather than less. That food is viewed as just an unfortunate by-product of delivering for the environment. Our ancestors who have lived through food shortages would be turning in their graves.

It would be grossly irresponsible for any government to ignore this challenge of food availability and food security © Provided by Daily Mail It would be grossly irresponsible for any government to ignore this challenge of food availability and food security

We should all be concerned about this abject failure by government to take seriously the pressing problem of feeding our nation.

Britain is currently roughly 60 per cent self-sufficient in food. To put it another way, we are dependent on the rest of the world to provide 40 per cent of our food.

Yes, we are a trading nation – we want to export and we need to import. But when the NFU asked the Government to give a commitment that we would maintain that figure of 60 per cent self-sufficiency, it didn’t take the opportunity. The next Prime Minister has a chance to put this right. To make Britain more secure and to help solve the challenge of feeding the world rather than worsening it.

Investing in Britain’s food production is a win-win. Farming underpins our largest manufacturing sector, the food and drinks industry, which is bigger than cars and aerospace put together, worth £120 billion to the British economy every year, and employs four million people.

All 9 Newcastle restaurants featured in the Michelin Guide from House of Tides to Trakol

  All 9 Newcastle restaurants featured in the Michelin Guide from House of Tides to Trakol One venue is the city's only restaurant with a Michelin Star, while two others have a Bib Gourmand - with menus ranging from British classics to Indian comfort foodGeordies will know that the city’s diverse food and drink scene is already world class, but these venues are the best of the best according to the prestigious Michelin Guide. The list includes Newcastle’s only Michelin Star restaurant, as well as two that have had their food recognised by a Bib Gourmand Award.

Farmers maintain the countryside and create a place that so many of us have appreciated during Covid, with its lockdowns and restrictions, when mental wellbeing has been so paramount. The UK has 149,000 farm businesses. That’s more than the number of businesses involved in the motor trade, in education, and in finance and insurance.

We should all be concerned about this abject failure by government to take seriously the pressing problem of feeding our nation © Provided by Daily Mail We should all be concerned about this abject failure by government to take seriously the pressing problem of feeding our nation

Farming is unique in that more than 90 per cent of our farms are made up of sole traders or family partnerships. Our landscape has been sculpted for millennia by family-run farming businesses.

I’m a fifth-generation farmer, I love my farm with all my heart – the fields, woods, hedges, river and wildlife, alongside my suckler cows and sheep. The land is part of our family.

I look down our supermarket aisles in awe at the British produce on the shelves: strawberries and raspberries; steaks, sausages and chicken drumsticks for our barbecues; wonderful cheeses such as Wensleydale, produced in Rishi Sunak’s Yorkshire constituency. There’s even Silver Spoon British sugar, grown and processed in the East of England, where Liz Truss is an MP.

Which of the two candidates for PM will be the rural champion? More importantly who will prioritise the future of British food?

Farmers are by and large good people, but they are scratching their heads trying to work out what to do in an environment where the reintroduction of beavers seems to be valued more highly than producing food, and where they are asked to comply with ever-increasing legislation to maintain the standards of their produce and the environment, even as trade deals are struck to import food that doesn’t meet those same standards.

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Help farmers to fend off food apocalypse

  DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Help farmers to fend off food apocalypse DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Liz Truss's pledge should she become leader to unleash Britain's farmers, slash red tape and deliver the changes they need is a welcome first step.For too long the party has behaved complacently towards its rural heartlands, arrogantly assuming their votes were simply a given.

David Beasley from the United Nations World Food Programme has warned of a global famine © Provided by Daily Mail David Beasley from the United Nations World Food Programme has warned of a global famine

The next PM needs to get serious about British food. It is time for a detailed, strategic plan which demonstrates where Britain will get its food from in the next decade, what role our farmers will play and how dependent we want to be on the rest of the world.

It would be grossly irresponsible for any government to ignore this challenge of food availability and food security.

The next Prime Minister needs to be clear they will not let our levels of self-sufficiency fall. They need to answer these key questions:

The prospect of ‘food wars’ should be spurring all the world’s governments into action © Provided by Daily Mail The prospect of ‘food wars’ should be spurring all the world’s governments into action

Food production has been increasingly seen as the ugly sister of caring for the environment. In fact, they are equally important. A Prime Minister needs to act in a way that delivers for both.

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss both come from rural constituencies where farming underpins much of the local economy. I invite both candidates to take part in hustings where they can outline their plans for food production to Britain’s farmers and to everyone who cares about where our food will come from in the future.

Britain needs a plan, and it needs one urgently. Before it’s too late.

Read more

Truss learns to borrow from the PM's playbook while Sunak seeks to wean the Tories off its Boris Johnson addiction .
Rishi Sunak won the audience, but Liz Truss appears to have a grip on the Tory membership in the country. © Sky All the clues as to why both are true could be found in Thursday night's 90-minute Battle for Number 10 on Sky News with Kay Burley, which tested the breadth, depth and agility of the two who would be prime minister on 6 September.In a unique TV grilling, the flaws and skills of both candidates were on parade in front of a live studio audience.

See also