To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of supermarket chains on factors affecting the supply of fresh fruit and vegetables.
21 September 2021
The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain, as demonstrated throughout the Covid-19 response. It is well equipped to deal with situations with the potential to cause disruption. Our high degree of food security is built on access to a range of sources, including robust supply chains domestically, and from other countries, including supplementing our excellent domestic production of fresh vegetables and fruit with imports of produce that cannot be grown here for all or part of the year. In the latest statistical release of Agriculture in the UK (July 2021), vegetables and fruit were the largest value imported commodity group in 2020.
Defra has well established ways of working with the industry and across Government to monitor risks that may arise. This includes extensive, regular and ongoing engagement with food retailers in preparedness for, and response to, issues with the potential to cause disruption to food supply chains, including those for fresh produce.