John Redwood on Twitter - Food imports and wild land
I think I'll make these little additions to future episodes. 🤣
Surging fresh food prices show we are too dependent on imports. Government should get on with policies to encourage farmers to grow more at home. Stop paying them to abandon crops leaving land wild.
There are a few points to unpack in John Redwood MP's statement. Let's take a closer look at each of them:
- "Surging fresh food prices show we are too dependent on imports."
It is true that surging fresh food prices may indicate that we are dependent on imports, but it is important to note that food prices are affected by a multitude of factors, including weather conditions, transportation costs, and global demand. It is not accurate to solely attribute rising prices to our dependence on imports although BREXIT has certainly not helped.
Furthermore, being dependent on imports is not necessarily a bad thing. It allows us to access a wider range of foods, and it can be more cost-effective to import certain foods rather than growing them domestically. It is also worth noting that the UK is a net exporter of some foods, such as wheat and barley.
- "Government should get on with policies to encourage farmers to grow more at home."
Encouraging farmers to grow more at home is a laudable goal, but it is not a simple solution. Factors such as climate, soil quality, and available land must be taken into account. Additionally, farmers may be hesitant to take on the risk and expense of growing new crops without guaranteed demand.
Moreover, the UK government has already taken steps to encourage domestic food production, such as the Agriculture Bill which seeks to replace the EU's Common Agricultural Policy with a new system that rewards farmers for environmental outcomes, such as reducing carbon emissions and improving biodiversity.
- "Stop paying them to abandon crops leaving land wild."
The idea of paying farmers to leave land wild is a form of agri-environmental policy, which has been shown to have numerous environmental benefits, such as increasing biodiversity and improving soil quality. It is not accurate to portray this policy as simply paying farmers to abandon crops.
Furthermore, it is worth noting that the UK government's current agri-environmental schemes provide funding to farmers who manage their land in a way that benefits the environment, such as by creating wildlife habitats or planting trees. This is not the same as paying farmers to abandon crops, but rather incentivizing them to farm in a way that is more sustainable and beneficial for the environment.
In summary, while it is important to encourage domestic food production, it is not accurate to solely blame rising food prices on our dependence on imports. Encouraging farmers to grow more at home is a complex issue that must take numerous factors into account, and the idea of paying farmers to leave land wild has numerous environmental benefits.
“I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”