Leaked reports reveal that the British government is launching a ‘Grow for Britain’ initiative to boost domestic food production.
According to The Telegraph, “the cost of food has real consequences for people across the country,” and members of the Boris Johnson administration will work “to address poverty in the round as we learn to live with recent events and manage the impact of the cost of living pressures.”
The food policy is told to be designed “at a time of considerable increases in food prices, partly as a result of energy prices and compounded by events in Ukraine, which is very tough for people across the country.”
Extending seasonal migrant visas to include poultry workers and amending planning rules to make converting land for agricultural use easier are two measures under consideration — perhaps unsurprisingly for a government that promised to reduce immigration but has helped it pass over one million a year.
The idea is said to include compelling government-funded institutions to give a vegan choice on their menus, such as National Health Service (NHS) hospitals, state schools, and prisons, with the argument being that this will raise the demand for local fruit and vegetables.
Backed up by the UK government, the proposal for schools and hospitals to buy locally-produced food was unveiled by Environment Secretary George Eustice as part of the government’s attempts to assist local suppliers in the UK, with the goal of seeing more fruit and vegetables grown in the country.
Eustice said, “The public sector must lead by example when it comes to supporting local suppliers and local economic growth.”
“We are determined to support the sector to work with more small and local suppliers, and recognise those that are stepping up to the plate,” concluded the Tory MP.
When it comes to produce that isn’t well-suited to the local environment, the strategy argues that “a new generation of sustainable and efficient greenhouses” can provide British farmers with “options to lessen our dependency on offshore supply.”
It will also “focus on pioneering more organic-based fertilisers” after the Ukraine war and related Russo-Western sanctions clash exposed over-reliance on Russian exports — made worse by the recent announcement that one of Britain’s only two fertiliser production plants will be shut down due to factors such as rising energy costs.
The government plan also includes a push in the United Kingdom for the adoption of gene-edited crops, a contentious sort of genetic engineering aimed at altering plants to generate desired qualities, which officials hope would assist enhance national food self-sufficiency.