Population Matters

Food security threatened by population growth

Food security threatened by population growth

Food security concerns cannot be addressed without tackling population growth.

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Simon Ross, chief executive of Population Matters, commented, “We are right to worry about how we are going to meet the future demand for food in a more-crowded world. But simply addressing supply will never be enough. We need also to address demand — by encouraging a more sustainable way of life, including smaller families.

The report on food security issued this week by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons concluded that:

“The UK currently enjoys a high level of food security, but this situation will not last unless the government plans now for future changes in our weather patterns and the changing global demand for food…the UK’s self-sufficiency for food that can be grown domestically (already) has fallen from 87 per cent to 68 per cent in 20 years.”

The report focuses on food production, supply and the systems necessary to ensure our food security in the future and highlights some examples of good practice and how the government and food producers could plan for projected changes to make our food production and supply systems more secure.


Simon Ross continued, “Planning improvements to food supply in response to an increasingly hot and crowded world make sense. However, the committee perhaps felt ill-qualified to comment on Britain’s rapid population growth, which is running at around four million every decade — much higher than other European countries.

“This is of course a global issue rather than being limited to one country. If we are serious about addressing food security in the face of climate change and rising per capita consumption in industrializing nations, we should seek to stabilize human numbers by promoting smaller families and balanced migration flows.”

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