Covid-19 and future of food supplies – Yorkshire Post Letter to the Editor
March 31, 2020
The ongoing coronavirus disruption and public anxiety over supermarket food stocks throws an important new light on the recent debate about the protection of British food production from low-quality imports under post-Brexit trading arrangements.
The current situation demonstrates the value of maintaining a strong UK food and farming sector, so that our national food security does not depend on long international supply chains, which can clearly prove fragile at times like these. These insights must inform future policy as we go forward from the present emergency.
From the farmers and food processors still labouring as designated ‘key workers’, to the many local butchers, bakers and brewers setting up special deliveries for customers in their neighbourhoods who are having to stay home, in Yorkshire and elsewhere we are seeing the value of small-scale and regional supply chains that can be relied on for food and drink when all else fails.
I and many other MPs have already been pressing the government for the strongest possible assurances that Britain’s world-leading animal welfare and environmental food standards will not be eroded by a wave of cheap imports, with the situation created by the virus outbreak only strengthening these arguments.
I hope the government will learn this lesson, and I will continue to push on this.
Member of Parliament for York Outer