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EU must guarantee our food supplies

by 5m Editor
30 October 2007, at 11:50am

EUROPE - Just four years after the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, concerns over food security are being discussed at the European Parliament, writes Jonathan Evans, Conservative MEP for Wales.

Jonathan Evans MEP

It certainly won’t come as any surprise to farmers who have been sounding warnings about the issue for years, as consistently low market prices have resulted in lower production.

Now sharp hikes in food prices and worldwide food security fears are set to be examined following a vote instigated by the Conservatives to address the issues in the European Parliament.

Consumers are facing a whopping 30 to 40 per cent increase in bread costs when only 10 per cent of this rise is due to wheat price increases.

According to research company TNS Worldpanel, in the 12 months to June, the supermarket price of milk has gone up 11 per cent, eggs by almost 18 per cent, butter by five per cent and meat six per cent, all well above the rate of inflation.

Meanwhile, the world is producing a lot less food; worldwide grain stocks – corn, wheat and barley – are at their lowest level for 25 years. The problem has been compounded by extreme weather that has ruined crops with droughts in Australia and floods in the UK.

Demand for food across the globe has risen.
Livestock farmers are being hit hard with much higher feed costs and it is feared meat prices could quadruple. We are concerned by the massive discrepancy between the relative small increase in the price of wheat and the massive increase in supermarket prices.

So what can be done?
The commission must license more feed stock by-products to come into Europe so that livestock farmers have access to cheaper feeds. The EU must take action to guarantee food supplies, ensure pricing at supermarkets is competitive and keep prices down for the most vulnerable consumers.

Source: isWALES

5m Editor