20 Apr Farmers warn country is ‘sleepwalking’ towards food shortages
FARMERS have warned of impending food shortages as the cost of living crisis impacts on food production.
Gareth Wyn Jones, a farmer from Snowdonia, told GB News today that producers are reducing their output due to the increased cost of fuel, fertiliser and feed.
He said: “We’re sleepwalking into food shortages and that’s a fact.
“I could take you to ten farms in the surrounding area now that are turning down their production – chicken farmers, egg producers, milk producers, even beef and lamb because feed prices are going through the roof.
“We’ve got absolutely ridiculous fertiliser prices and we can’t forget that half the food produced in his world comes from artificial fertiliser.”
He made his comments during a debate whether the war in Ukraine could bring global food shortages during On The Money with Liam Halligan on GB News.
Mr Wyn Jones said the Government was out of touch and its white paper on food production is over six months behind schedule.
He said: “The people that are on the forefront are the farmers we’re seeing the first effects
“We want to produce food at affordable rates for our consumers and customers and it’s not going to happen because the foods are not going to be there.
“This is the scary bit because unless we have got the four F’s…feed, fertiliser, fuel, and the last and very, very important one is finance.
“People are going to need finance to get their farms up and running. I just can’t understand why this Government isn’t pushing for local food chains, for people to be producing more food in surrounding areas seasonally.
“It’s just ludicrous what’s going on, and it’s scary as a farmer sitting here and watching my friends talking about cutting their livestock down to half because they’re not going to go out and spend money on fertiliser.
“They’re just going to cut down on the stock they’ve got as we’ve seen with the dairy boys, pulling the plug on the feed, pulling the plug on the fertiliser.
He added: “There’ll be less flowing milk coming into our food chain, there will be massive repercussions.
“We’ve got an amazing country, we can produce this stuff but we have to have the backing of the Government – they have to understand what’s happening on the ground.”
Neil Charlick, CEO of the charity Gillingham Street Angels, said there has been a massive increase in visits to its food bank.
He said: “We found that last month there was a 25% increase in people using our services.
“We fed 12,500 people last month. That was the first month that the increase was that large.
“I think it’s going to get worse. I’m getting reports every day from the food bank which say we were just struggling to get enough food and we’re quite lucky that we’ve got local supermarkets, local farmers who supply stuff to us.”