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Warning of over reliance on food imports

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THE PROPORTION of food which the UK produces for itself is continuing to fall, with the country able to feed itself only up until today without imports, farmers have warned.

The UK’s self-sufficiency in food dropped by two percentage points from 2012 to 60 per cent last year, down from 75 per cent in 1991, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) said.

Popular foods such as bananas have to be imported from abroad, but there has also been a fall in self-sufficiency for food that can be grown or produced domestically, down from 77 per cent in 2012 to 73 per cent in 2013, and down from a high of nearly 87 per cent in 1991.

And although food exports have doubled in the past decade, the UK is spending £21.3bn more on imports than it is receiving from exports, up from a gap of £10.2bn in 1991, the NFU said.

The farming industry body is calling for a partnership between Government and the industry to promote UK exports.