Shropshire Star

Britain needs to be self-sufficient to halt soaring prices - Michael Fabricant

Britain needs to become "as self-sufficient as possible" in food production to stop prices from rocketing during times of conflict, an MP has said.

Michael Fabricant with famers at Ashmore Brook Farm

Michael Fabricant has called for urgent action to support UK farmers in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has seen food prices surge on the back of staggering increases in fertiliser, feed and fuel costs.

He warned that unless Britain becomes self-sufficient in many areas of food production, prices could surge again in the face of potential future military threats.

The Lichfield MP discussed the issue during a meeting with the National Farmers Union (NFU) and local farmers at Ashmore Brook Farm in Cross In Hand Lane, who are battling to deal with rising costs as food prices continue to climb.

Mr Fabricant said: "The Ukraine War and UK immigration issues are causing farmers across the country real hardship."

"Fertiliser costs have risen from around £300 per tonne in January 2021 to approaching £1,000 per tonne now.

"Meanwhile the cost of red diesel used in tractors and other farm vehicles has soared too. And despite the visa programme, there is still a shortage of farm labourers coming to the UK from Europe."

Mr Fabricant, who has pledged to take the issues up with ministers, added: "I very much agree with the NFU who say that with the present military situation in Ukraine, Britain should aim to become as self-sufficient in food production as is possible.

"Who knows what threats might face Britain in the future?"

Last month the Government announced a new food strategy, which included measures to help farmers with increased costs such as the Sustainable Farming Incentive.