Simon Deacon, CEO of AgTech firm Light Science Technologies, warns that recent food shortages in the UK are just the “tip of the iceberg” if sustainable farming practices are not adopted. The country is at the mercy of global factors disrupting the food supply chain and must reduce its reliance on imports to avert a long-term crisis. Indoor farming and agricultural technology offer viable solutions to increase food security and reduce waste and energy consumption.
The recent food shortages in the UK are just the “tip of the iceberg” if the country doesn’t commit to sustainable farming practices, according to Simon Deacon, the founder and CEO of AgTech specialist Light Science Technologies. Deacon warns that the UK is at the mercy of “a litany of global factors disrupting the food supply chain” and that “reliance on imports must be dramatically cut” to avert a long-term food crisis.
Food shortages have been a continuing theme since the pandemic in March 2020. The latest shortage, which has affected fruit and vegetable supplies, has seen supermarkets rationing items, with both the environment secretary and retailers warning that the problem could last for weeks. The shortage has been caused by a combination of bad weather and transport problems in Africa and Europe, resulting in dwindling stocks of fresh produce.
While some have blamed the colder, wetter climate in Spain and Morocco, Brexit, and a “disastrous government that has no interest in food production, farming or even food supply,” others point the finger at supermarkets that have chosen to import cheaper produce over British suppliers, forcing growers to delay planting so crops will not be ready until March.
Deacon argues that the solution to the UK’s food security lies in indoor farming, which can significantly reduce energy consumption and waste while increasing efficiency. Strategists have been saying for some time now that agricultural technology will be vital to feeding a fast-growing global population, expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030 and 9.8 billion in 2050.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has also warned that the “clock is ticking” for the government to protect homegrown food supplies and called for more investment and commitment by the government and the industry to make sustainable farming practices a reality.
Deacon urges the UK to act now to increase its food security by committing to sustainable farming practices and harnessing the innovation found in AgTech. The possibilities of AgTech are endless, with less energy consumption, reduced waste, and increased efficiency being just a few of the benefits.
The UK needs to take urgent action to address the problem concerning its food supply chain with a long-term solution that will increase its food security. Sustainable farming practices, including indoor farming and agricultural technology, offer viable solutions to ensure the UK’s reliance on imports is reduced and a long-term food crisis is averted.
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