25 February 2023
Southampton and District Green Party is concerned about the food shortages across the city. The reasons behind this are partly due to Brexit red tape and to a cold snap in Southern Spain and North Africa.
The list of items missing from the shelves includes, courgettes, aubergines, salad crops and some citrus fruits. Today we have been warned by the Government that the situation could continue for around a month.
Fifty years ago the UK diet was in tune with seasonal fruit and vegetables and there would have been plenty of UK grown produce to fill the shelves. Today with farmers struggling to find labour to help them harvest UK produce and European farmers preferring to sell into the EU, the UK is going to have to struggle alone in filling the gap with other fresh staple foods like leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and cabbage.
Even though the supermarkets are putting limits on what the public can purchase there is a real possibility we will see empty shelves for weeks to come.
Katherine Barbour, candidate for Portswood ward, Green Party, said,
"we warned the country during the build up to the 2016 referendum that there could be food shortages so it is not surprising we are now experiencing some gaps in the market'.
"It appears that as soon as there is any disruption in the market, the UK is being penalised heavily. “
Currently margins for farmers in the UK are around 1% to 2%. This is unsustainable and will result in farmers going out of business. The land will then be sold for residential building or the leisure industry.
Green Party policy is about:-
Produce is healthy, nutritious food and other useful outputs to meet the needs of the population at fair prices for producers, consumers and all workers in the food sector;
Overall, in order to address the climate crisis this will mean producing less meat and dairy and more fruit and vegetables;
Ensures food sovereignty and a secure supply of food; ensuring that there is sufficient food for everyone.