With the farming and agricultural industries struggling in the current economic climate and with the soaring costs of imported food, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), has identified the need for more varied and home-grown produce. As a major player in the UK food market, the Indian food sector is a leading area where improvements can be made. Growing specialist ingredients such as herbs and spices, as well as chick pea crops and lentil plants could provide a much needed boost to the UK food industry and the economy as a whole. At the moment these products are largely imported at both a financial and environmental cost.
Imported food impacts on the country’s green credentials and so the Defra-led steering group made up of Whitehall officials, farming representatives, food retailers and manufacturers, environmentalists and scientists have come together to find ways in which the UK’s food sector can use “less energy, less water and other natural resources, reduce its environmental impact and become more efficient.”
Jim Paice, farming minister, said: “With our increasingly hungry world every country must play its part to produce more food and improve the environment. Britain already punches above its weight, but we’re a small island with limited space, so we’ve got to show leadership and play to our strengths more efficiently.”