A ‘perfect storm’ of COVID, Brexit, a dearth of lorry drivers, and the carbon dioxide shortage have brought food shortages in the UK which one industry official has warned could be ‘permanent’ and is set to ‘get worse’.
This, coupled with the irreversible damage of climate change is the biggest threat to our national food security and one which can only be addressed through innovation.
It has become ever apparent that the UK must look to agritech to solve the problems the industry is facing and, to do this, there needs to be a clear shift in mindset.
Technology can reduce the impact on land, solve food supply challenges and make homegrown food more accessible. It can reduce waste by only growing food when it is needed.
Simon Deacon, founder, and CEO of Derby-based Light Science Technologies plc, an Innovate UK-backed Agritech business providing solutions in vertical farming, polytunnels, and greenhouses explained: “We face an unprecedented predicament which has underlined just how woefully unprepared, self-insufficient and vulnerable we are.
“it has laid bare our reliance on limited resources and other countries to feed us. We need to address how we grow our food and think about it differently.
“This isn’t about shunning more traditional farming methods, it is about an alternative solution to creating a thriving, sustainable food system in the UK, one which can ensure our food security.
“And what people may not realise is, the bonus is better tasting fresh produce. With the right investment and engagement, indoor farming – that is, vertical farming, polytunnels, and greenhouses – the UK can lead by example through science and innovation in Agritech, which we now have available.”