As a previous chairman of Scottish Agricultural College, I was heavily involved in food production education and the sustainability of food production and climate change. I now farm in Strathmore helping my son who was chairman of the Oxford Farming Conference recently.
Observations on the trends in food insecurity/security
Over the last 100 years, clear trends have developed. Originally Britain relied on “Commonwealth preference” for food supply. However, two World Wars changed this to concentrate on “food from our own resource”.
In mathematical terms the following trend in wheat is shown:
So in 1920 the average earner could buy 7 tons of grain. They can now buy 200 tons. Affordability of farm gate prices has increased at a compound rate of 3.5% (2% for grain, 5.5% for wages). The population expect this trend to continue, Post Brexit the UK may have to accept chlorinated chicken and hormone beer to secure a USA trade deal, but it will make the trend to cheaper food possible.
Question- What is the trade off between price and quality?
Interesting to compare cost of bread for farm gate price to cost at retail. Will this trend continue?
Affordability of food may not continue to fail as it has over the last 100 years.
Food production sustainability/climate change
If European breeds can be developed to thrive then we could have 120 million less cows on the planet for no loss of production. And save 120 million acres of