Weekly Overview: Report Calls for Reduction in Food Waste and Aid to Small Farmers

ANALYSIS - A report from the UK International Development Committee on global food security has called for an end to food waste on the domestic market and assistance to small farmers in developing countries to tackle hunger and promote food security.
calendar icon 7 June 2013
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The report urges consumers in the UK to eat less meat and to eat meat from more sustainable sources rather than intensive units.

It added that biofuels are having a detrimental impact on food production helping to cause shortages and volatile prices.

However, the committee’s views have on meat consumption have been rebuffed by the British poultry industry.

Andrew Large, Chief Executive of the British Poultry Council, said: "Poultry meat is a wholesome and nutritious protein source and should be an important feature of a healthy diet.

"At a time when the world needs more food than ever to meet the demands of a growing population, food production must be a priority and the poultry meat industry has a key role to play.”

The MPs on the International Development Committee called for concerted action to curb food wastage in the UK and for expansion of DFID’s bilateral nutrition programmes with a particular focus on pregnancy and early years, as part of wider efforts to improve global food security.

Launching a report on Global Food Security as world leaders assemble in London to attend an international nutrition summit hosted by the UK government, Sir Malcolm Bruce, chair of the International Development Committee warned: “There is no room for complacency about food security over the coming decades if UK consumers are to enjoy stable supplies and reasonable food prices.

“'UK aid to help smallholders increase food production in the developing world is of direct benefit to UK consumers as rising world food prices will reduce living standards of hard-pressed UK consumers.

He called on the Government to launch a national consumer campaign to reduce domestic food waste and urged UK consumers to reduce how often they eat meat.

“Meanwhile, as a nation we should place a stronger focus on more sustainable extensive systems of meat production such as pasture-fed cattle, rather than on highly intensive grain-fed livestock units.”

Turning to Avian Influenza, two outbreaks of low pathogen H7 avian influenza in Denmark and the Netherlands have prompted Honk Kong to suspend imports of poultry from these countries.

There has also been a further outbreak of H5N2 avian influenza in Taiwan.

The situation surrounding the H7N9 avian influenza outbreak in China appears to have calmed with the second patient who contracted the disease in Beijing having been discharged from hospital,

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