Page last updated at 10:59 GMT, Sunday, 9 August 2009 11:59 UK

UK to head food revolution - Benn

'We should produce as much as we can ourselves'

The UK needs to lead a revolution in food production, Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has told the BBC.

The government will announce it wants to help meet a United Nations target of increasing global production by 70% by 2050 to feed a growing population.

Mr Benn told the BBC's Andrew Marr show that a combination of "strong domestic food production" and "a global market" would meet the challenge.

Around 60% of food eaten in the UK is grown within the country.

'Best combination'

Mr Benn said a projected increase in the global population meant British food production needed to rise.

He said the UK needed to "produce as much food as we can ourselves", but said self-sufficiency would not be enough.

He added: "Supposing a new disease came along and affected your staple crop. What are you going to do then?

"So therefore it is a combination of strong domestic food production, but also having a global market in which people are able to buy from each other, that gives you the best combination of ensuring that you can feed people.

Mr Benn said science would also have to make a contribution in raising food production.

Print Sponsor

Rethink 'eat fish' advice - MPs
21 Jul 09 |  Politics
'Food champion' needed for Wales
21 Jul 09 |  Wales
Price curbs lead to cheaper food
14 Jul 09 |  Business
Has the G8 done enough for the poor?
10 Jul 09 |  Business
Science cash 'to beat food riots'
27 Apr 09 |  Science & Environment
Balancing the global need for meat
24 Mar 09 |  Science & Environment

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific