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• Food security for the UK in peacetime has only recently been a subject of concern. Until 2008, the Labour Government justified financial support for farming as a means of obtaining environmental objectives. Even before the election in 2010, however, increasing concern over food security has encouraged renewed emphasis upon food production.

• A related note is Food Miles (SN/SC/4984)

• British Governments have resisted the view that food security concerns should be met by increased subsidy for domestic – or indeed European – agriculture. Instead they have argued for freer international trade.

• However, the British Government has paid increasing attention to the role of domestic food production.

• Several reports have argued that food security problems would return unless appropriate action was taken.

• Food security is closely related to energy security and to the availability of fertilisers.

• The Foresight Report, January 2011 stresses the enormous scale of the problem.

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