Foresight Report is a wake-up call to GovernmentThe resources needed to meet the dual challenge of obtaining food and environmental security have been underestimated and the Foresight report - which asks farmers to grow more food at less cost to the environment - should serve as a wake-up call to the Coalition Government according to the CLA.
The rural watchdog said it agreed with the Foresight report on Global Food and Farming Futures conclusion that to meet the food and environmental challenges facing the world will require a sustainable intensification of global agriculture.
CLA West Midlands director Caroline Bedell said that the report had assembled the evidence on the problem of food insecurity and although most of the world's 'food insecure' lives in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia she said that Europe still had a role to play.
"For years now the debate in Europe has been about how to achieve a mix of productive and competitive farming on the most fertile land while at the same time reducing negative environmental impacts and increasing the delivery of wildlife, landscape, climate, soil and water protection services only farmers can deliver.
"This report must be taken seriously. We hope it will act as a wake-up call for the Government to take a more enlightened stance in helping farmers maximise Europe's contribution to global food security."
Mrs Bedell said there could be no dispute that the demand for food would grow and it followed that the food producing capacity of a finite land resource would have to be increased but the balance was to try to reduce the amount of food wasted and, at the same time, remain mindful of our responsibility for the environment.
"Food producers and Government have a part to play but so to do consumers and others involved in the food chain. We have to find better ways of using the food we produce and reducing the amount which is wasted."
She said that within the context of Europe's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), the key point was that it had to be capable of maintaining and increasing Europe's capacity to produce food while arranging to pay farmers for the environmental services - landscape, biodiversity, water quality, heritage and other public goods - for which the market will not pay.
"This is at the core of the debate on the reform of the CAP which is currently underway and it is the position, we believe, the Coalition Government should support."
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Caroline Bedell MRICS FAAV
Caroline leads the Midlands team and has overall responsibility for the management of the CLAs regional business and membership.
A qualified Chartered Surveyor respected throughout the industry, she also represents the CLA on a wide range of regional committees and panels.
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