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Britain may need to 'dig for survival', minister says (Telegraph)

Rather alarmist talk from a minister; more like the sort of statement you’d get here.

I’ve been surprised that we’ve not had more increases in the price of basic food stuffs given the drop in the pound and the bad weather lately.

On Newsnight last night there was a report on how income for UK farmers has halved this year, all seems a rather strange situation.

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My brother in law is a 4th generation farmer in the northwest growing lettuce and celery on a small farm, 200 hectares (or acres not sure). He has just packed it in, got a job and sold all the machinery. Last year they made 6k profit, not much for what is a tough job.

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Britain may need to 'dig for survival', minister says (Telegraph)

Rather alarmist talk from a minister; more like the sort of statement you’d get here.

I’ve been surprised that we’ve not had more increases in the price of basic food stuffs given the drop in the pound and the bad weather lately.

On Newsnight last night there was a report on how income for UK farmers has halved this year, all seems a rather strange situation.

The only way Britain is going to be short of food is if the EU collapses.

Our agriculture accounts for 0.7% of the GDP, according to CIA database, and employs 1.4% of the people.

Shocking really, considering how fragile the whole economy has become, and that we only provide maybe 55% of our own food.

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The only way Britain is going to be short of food is if the EU collapses.

Our agriculture accounts for 0.7% of the GDP, according to CIA database, and employs 1.4% of the people.

Shocking really, considering how fragile the whole economy has become, and that we only provide maybe 55% of our own food.

May not be short, but have to pay through the nose for it.

But yes, horribly unbalanced economy which will come back to haunt us all.

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Just how much of a family's food does the minister think can be raised in the average new-build postage stamp garden? When both parents have to work all hours just to pay the housing costs?

Pillock is too kind a word.

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The only way Britain is going to be short of food is if the EU collapses.

Our agriculture accounts for 0.7% of the GDP, according to CIA database, and employs 1.4% of the people.

Shocking really, considering how fragile the whole economy has become, and that we only provide maybe 55% of our own food.

I don't see a problem with importing most of our food anymore than importing most of our mobile phones. It's cheaper to farm on massive scales so we get cereals from the US, lamb from New Zealand, beef from Argentina etc.

If our economy collapsed then these imports would be so expensive that we'd all be keeping chickens and growing veg, until I does (and I doubt it will) then cheap food is one of the major benefits of globalisation.

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If our economy collapsed then these imports would be so expensive that we'd all be keeping chickens and growing veg

You don't understand.

There is a significant lag factor for increasing food production, and significant up-front costs.

Put, simply, you have to BUY seeds then WAIT for them to grow.

Sitting on your hands until there is an actual problem is f*cking stupid.

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I was explaining to some twentysomethings how much our food supply has changed even in the past 30 years or so. Storage & refrigeration, removal of trade barriers, cheap freight, breeding of particular strainns of animals and plants , and containerisation, has made it convenient to source food from anywhere on the globe. Food hardly seems to be seasonal any more.

Until there is an oil. or transport, or financial problem, that is. Shortages aren't necessarily a thing of the past. It's prudent to keep a modest stock of non-perishable essential items, even if you aren't a dyed-in -the-wool prepper. You can always use it later.

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You don't understand.

There is a significant lag factor for increasing food production, and significant up-front costs.

Put, simply, you have to BUY seeds then WAIT for them to grow.

Sitting on your hands until there is an actual problem is f*cking stupid.

If you think that the problem is coming and it is a problem.

I won't dig out the stats but food these days is incredibly cheap comapred to what it was in, say, the 1950s. It forms a much lower portion of disposable income spending. It could go up a great deal without causing any significant problem beyond more people moaning about it. And losing weight.

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If you think that the problem is coming and it is a problem.

I won't dig out the stats but food these days is incredibly cheap comapred to what it was in, say, the 1950s. It forms a much lower portion of disposable income spending. It could go up a great deal without causing any significant problem beyond more people moaning about it. And losing weight.

All well and good if people were not already over-financed and stretched, and therein lies the problem.

There is also the issue of time - working couples reliant on those two incomes, sod all time to really make a dent in their food bill even of they could get access to suitable land resources. You can imagine the complete screw up the government would make of that - it would take them a decade to even figure out how to release land without tipping their precious land value based economy.

Have written quite a few posts about the food sector. I think it will be one factor that will really kick this economy in the teeth at some point.

Edited by OnlyMe

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If you think that the problem is coming and it is a problem.

I won't dig out the stats but food these days is incredibly cheap comapred to what it was in, say, the 1950s. It forms a much lower portion of disposable income spending. It could go up a great deal without causing any significant problem beyond more people moaning about it. And losing weight.

Yes.. but this could turn around fairly suddenly. The world does not, as a whole, carry much in the way of stocks (about 8 weeks IIRC). Combine a couple of 'Events' (coordinated droughts/floods, new pests emerging, etc) and there is very little cover.

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I won't dig out the stats but food these days is incredibly cheap

Is this good, high quality food, or nasty, junk food with all the high quality ingredients removed (or meat from animals fed a low quality diet etc etc)?

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I don't see a problem with importing most of our food anymore than importing most of our mobile phones. It's cheaper to farm on massive scales so we get cereals from the US, lamb from New Zealand, beef from Argentina etc.

If our economy collapsed then these imports would be so expensive that we'd all be keeping chickens and growing veg, until I does (and I doubt it will) then cheap food is one of the major benefits of globalisation.

A few points:

Mobile phones are not essential to life...which we import ALL of.

The biggest motivator for war is food and water, always has been.

Food security is important, perhaps the most important pillar of any society.

Our security is falling into the hands of multi-national profit seeking corporations who are loyal to no sovereign anywhere.

EDIT: and also queue peak oil. Farming is energy intensive, requiring large amounts of oil derivatives to create the pesticides and manufactured fertilisers. Tractors eat fuel, as does the processing and storage equipment. How much does your gala apples from NZ really cost the UK consumer?

Folk that like to bleat on about wind turbine subsidies should really open their eyes to the economics of food.

Edited by cashinmattress

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I don't see a problem with importing most of our food anymore than importing most of our mobile phones. It's cheaper to farm on massive scales so we get cereals from the US, lamb from New Zealand, beef from Argentina etc.

If our economy collapsed then these imports would be so expensive that we'd all be keeping chickens and growing veg, until I does (and I doubt it will) then cheap food is one of the major benefits of globalisation.

Mobile phones are not strategic...food is not...it is still important to be in control of strategic resources such as energy and food...sometimes you have to pay for that security. If we were paying less for housing perhaps we afford this.

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A few points:

Mobile phones are not essential to life...which we import ALL of.

The biggest motivator for war is food and water, always has been.

Food security is important, perhaps the most important pillar of any society.

Our security is falling into the hands of multi-national profit seeking corporations who are loyal to no sovereign anywhere.

EDIT: and also queue peak oil. Farming is energy intensive, requiring large amounts of oil derivatives to create the pesticides and manufactured fertilisers. Tractors eat fuel, as does the processing and storage equipment. How much does your gala apples from NZ really cost the UK consumer?

Folk that like to bleat on about wind turbine subsidies should really open their eyes to the economics of food.

+ 1 agreed (see my post)

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My brother in law is a 4th generation farmer in the northwest growing lettuce and celery on a small farm, 200 hectares (or acres not sure). He has just packed it in, got a job and sold all the machinery. Last year they made 6k profit, not much for what is a tough job.

Profit after wages?

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Profit after wages?

No. Admittedly, they don't have a mortgage but he paid himself £6k last year and luckily he gave it up this year as the weather would have submerged most of his crop.

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It [food] could go up a great deal without causing any significant problem beyond more people moaning about it. And losing weight.

And the people employed in those other parts of the economy, which could no longer be afforded due to the high price of food, losing their jobs.

Peter.

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Rarely ever seen anything in a supermarket grown in the UK lol.

Last night I had an amy's kitchen meal, some basmati rice, some broccoli, 2 apples and 2 bananas - I don't think any of it was grown or made in this country.

You've got to love these scumbag vested interest politicians though.

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If you think that the problem is coming and it is a problem.

I won't dig out the stats but food these days is incredibly cheap comapred to what it was in, say, the 1950s. It forms a much lower portion of disposable income spending. It could go up a great deal without causing any significant problem beyond more people moaning about it.

If you are dependant upon imports you are at the mercy of the FX rates.

A country being independent for food protects it from FX rate fluctuation to a certain extent.

It's why Iceland didn't turn into a holocaust... they still had the ability to catch enough fish to feed everyone.

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I do not see a crisis coming in food; just that it will become more expensive.

I also do not think Iceland averted total catastrophic meltdown by fishing.

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If you are dependant upon imports you are at the mercy of the FX rates.

A country being independent for food protects it from FX rate fluctuation to a certain extent.

It's why Iceland didn't turn into a holocaust... they still had the ability to catch enough fish to feed everyone.

how much food does Cyprus import?

Greece?

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just that it will become more expensive

And how is that not a crisis in itself? I'd be fascinated to hear your line of reasoning.

Many pensioners and families are well under the poverty line in Britain; which I'm sure you are aware of.

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And how is that not a crisis in itself? I'd be fascinated to hear your line of reasoning.

Many pensioners and families are well under the poverty line in Britain; which I'm sure you are aware of.

The "poverty line" is one of those beloved nu-labour constructs which, as a relative measure, is meaningless. If Bill Gates and Warren Buffet both moved here with all of their higher paid staff it would push loads of "pensioners and families" (I presume all single people under 65 don't count) below the "poverty line".

I don't think you would be fascinated, you seem to have very fixed views.

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  • 242 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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