×


Home About Contribute Media Kit Contact Sign In
×







.


Food Industry Opinion

Could rural living help the UK's food security issue?


Exploring how living rurally can help the UKs food security problem.

Could rural living help the UK's food security issue?


"Although homegrown fruit and vegetables arent the definitive answer for improving the 58 self-sufficient rate, its a good start for those living off-grid."
Flogas



A successful agricultural industry gives the perception that food security isn’t at risk in the UK. But the country is only around 58% self-sufficient and is reliant on imports from countries all over the world. This has caused with a trade deficit of £24 billion in food.

Food security, put simply, is the state of having reliable access to enough affordable, nutritious food. While the UK benefits from a successful agricultural industry, many domestic and international factors affect food production and prices for consumers. This became evident during the world food price spike of 2008.

This fact is magnified by the uncertainty of Brexit, with a no-deal agreement bad for security and bad for business. The recent pandemic has also made it harder to import foods from global locations, and food that is shipped over is taking longer in transit.

Lockdown restrictions have also left farming and food production in a situation where it needs to bounce back from the crisis of the pandemic. In this article, UK off grid gas suppliers Flogas take a look at how living rurally can help the UK’s food security problem.

The current situation

Around 84% of fruit and 46% of vegetables consumed in the country are imported. While Brexit and COVID-19 threaten a steady supply to urban areas, problems created by climate change also risk disrupting imports of food from abroad.

Climate change can reduce global food access and affect its quality. An increase in temperature, change in precipitation patterns, extreme weather events, and reductions in water availability can result in reduced agricultural productivity.

For those living in a rural location, the opportunity to grow fruit and vegetables in allotments, gardens and other accessible land is one that not only gives people a fresh supply of food when they need it but a chance to be part of something bigger — helping increase food security.

Doing it yourself

To grow fruit and vegetables, ample space and good quality soil are required. Although it might not be possible to grow bananas or pineapples — due to average UK temperatures — apples, pears and strawberries can be on the menu.

Apple trees are probably the easiest fruit trees to grow and one of the most popular with gardeners. Thousands of varieties can be produced, but they tend to fall into two categories — either dessert or cookers, with the latter perfect for cooking with. Some are even-dual purpose.

Pears also follow a similar growth pattern to apples and don’t fall far from the tree. Strawberries are also easy to grow and can even be produced from hanging baskets.

Homegrown strawberries are delicious and prove to be great value compared to shop-bought equivalents. Just remember they need sun, shelter, and fertile soil to thrive.

In the world of vegetables, the humble potato is a popular choice for growing on home soil. Versatile as chips, roast potatoes, and mash, an ample supply of spuds whenever you need them is a great way to reduce the reliance on farmer and supermarket supplies.

In fact, everything from chilli peppers to radishes can be grown at home, giving people in rural area a wide variety of vegetables to choose from. To help people learn how to grow their own, the Royal Horticultural Society has an A-to-Z list of fruit and vegetables on their website, as well as guides on how to grow them.

Not only can fruit and vegetables provide a good food source, but it can turn into a regular hobby or side-project, especially for people who’ve been furloughed, work part-time, or are retired. Produce could be sold to local people, local suppliers, and even restaurants who want to use local produce on their menu.

Home gardening can play an important role in advancing food security during and after the pandemic. It can also strengthen the provisioning of the UK food ecosystem. Although homegrown fruit and vegetables aren’t the definitive answer for improving the 58% self-sufficient rate, it’s a good start for those living off-grid. Something that could just be a hobby helps to put more food on the table without the reliance on imports or straining supply chains.

Sources

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/ulsterbusiness/features/keeping-it-local-and-sustaining-our-food-supply-from-michelin-starred-restaurants-to-our-farmers-on-the-ground-39738517.html

https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2020/10/16/PM-Boris-Johnson-s-no-deal-Brexit-warning-bad-for-food-security

https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/grow-your-own

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/09/urban-farming-flourish-post-pandemic/

.


Food Business News - Online food and drink retailer Approved Food has made more donations to help feed vulnerable people in need of a hot meal.


Retailer steps up fight against food poverty

Food Business News - As technology becomes increasingly integrated into the manufacturing industry, so does the prominence of cables in workplaces. Cables are an important aspect of both delivering electricity to machinery and transporting digital information between consoles and departments.


The Role of Cables in the Technological Make-Over of the Manufacturing Industry

Food Business News - Uncle Joe s Mint Balls has launched 20 per cent off online special offers on several of its key brands to help sweet-lovers have a healthy and alcohol-free start to 2021.


Uncle Joe's Ranges Help With A Healthy January

Food Business News - Cookery School at Little Portland Street are delighted to announce a special FREE interactive class for teenagers on the 15th December at 5.30pm.


Free Interactive Cooking Class for Teenagers

Food Business News - Christmastime is a happy period of giving and receiving gifts, over-indulging on food, and treating yourself to the luxuries that you ve been missing all year. But amongst the joy of yuletide festivities, there is one gift that keeps on giving that we would rather do without waste. Yes, waste is monumental at Christmas.


Preparing Your House for the Festive Flurry of Rubbish

Food Business News - Although the rest of the world may think the British have a terrible cuisine, many of the areas of the UK are famed for having amazing eateries within them. Each area may think they have the best food in the country, but where really does Here we will discuss different areas of the UK and what makes them have the best cuisine.


Where Has the Best Cuisine in the UK?






Ten Times Ten

We transform your bright ideas into brilliant digital products.