What is the future of UK food production?

The UK Food Security Report 2021, which is published every three years, shows the future of UK food production. An article from the Food Manufacturer shows the highlights:

  • Brexit, climate change, Covid-19 and public awareness are all issues affecting UK domestic food security in the near future.
  • The biggest medium-to-long-term risk to the UK domestic production is climate change, for example soil degradation, water quality and biodiversity.
  • The UK produced about 60% of domestic consumption by value.
  • The UK is self-sufficient in production of grains which are at 100% of domestic consumption or oats and barely, and 90% for wheat. This can be threatened by climate change. For example, wheat yields dropped by 40% in 2020 due to heavy rainfall and droughts at bad times in the growing season. Although 2021 numbers bounced back, 2020 shows how temperamental weather can be in food production.
  • Challenges in areas such as trade, farming, and access to fisheries came from Brexit. In addition to the pandemic, this has stressed supply chains.
  • The pandemic has increased public awareness in food security areas.

With a huge focus on ESG policies in other areas of the market, food and beverage companies will also need to do their part in helping climate change and becoming more environmentally aware. For example, the agri-tech market has taken off. If you would like to read more on agri-tech, you can read a previous article here.

Within the UK, the agri-tech market is expanding through both public and private investment. The UK government launched a £24 million package last summer that will boost agri-tech projects across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This includes projects that involve bringing big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics to the country’s farming industry.

At Polestar, one of our contacts owns a vertical farming business in the West Midlands. They have received an offer for the business, but are waiting to see if a better one arrives in the coming months.

As the 2021 Food Security Report highlights, climate change will impact food production in the future of the country. To help fight this issue, investment in agri-tech is growing.  The market is definitely worth keeping an eye on, especially as agri-tech becomes more innovative with the advancement of technology. Through our previous deals within agriculture and research done within this area, Polestar would love to help expand your business in this growing field.

Climate change and environmental pressures are the biggest medium to long term risks to the UK’s domestic food production, a new government report has said.

By Anusheh Khan on 20/01/2022