Policy Foresight Programme: Can Britain Feed Itself?

15 October 2008

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On 15 October 2008, the James Martin Institute Policy Foresight Programme, together with Colin Tudge and LandShare, established in 2008 to promote Enlightened Agriculture, held a day-long symposium on "Can Britain Feed Itself? Should Britain Feed Itself?" at the James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford. The purpose of the day was to bring together government departments, academics, business, civil society and policymakers, to promote discussion and support recommendations to the British government to create a more resilient and long term sustainable food system. The future of agriculture and the problems of the global food chain and food security have now become of worldwide concern. These problems have to be seen in a new and broader context of rising world population, resource depletion, climate change, destruction of biodiversity, and damage to the natural world of which we are a small and vulnerable part. Governments have a prime responsibility to make sure that their people are fed. Market forces have to be exercised within a framework of the public interest. The symposium also looked at the links between food consumption and climate change.