Net zero is the reason we have empty supermarket shelves

Posted: February 23, 2023 by oldbrew in Agriculture, Brexit, government, greenblob, net zero, opinion

Green blob [credit:]

If officials think empty food shelves are a price worth paying for vain attempts to change the climate, they’re way out of touch with reality.
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It wasn’t meant to be like this: rationing is back, now being introduced in some supermarkets for fruits and vegetables, says farmer Jamie Blackett @ The Telegraph.

Typically, the public debate remains stuck on Brexit – or “Vegxit”. But this is much more to do with cold weather in farming regions, poor harvests in North Africa and Spain, and continued high energy costs.

If public expectations are that they should be able to eat tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers in February, something previous generations could barely imagine, it is perhaps understandable that logistics along an attenuated supply chain will play a major part.

Yet the fact that this has happened during a relatively normal period, without a pandemic or general strike, highlights once again that the model on which successive governments have based their food and farming strategies is now deeply flawed.

At the heart of the problem is a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) still in the grip of the Green Blob and wholly uninterested in the messy business of producing food.

The paradigm has shifted but the civil servants haven’t. Defra’s preoccupation remains “sustainability” and environmental management – seemingly denying that large quantities of food can be produced while maintaining high environmental standards.

In fact, in many respects, a regeneratively farmed environment can be better for biodiversity than “rewilded” land. Nevertheless, thanks to net zero targets, acres of productive land continue to be given over to solar farms, while the nation’s roofs remain relatively unpanelled.

Trees are favoured in place of crops and animals. The Government’s flagship Environmental Land Management scheme has a bias towards cutting production. All of which won’t be much use if our people go hungry.

It’s not that there is any lack of vision around, just that the policy-makers have not allowed it to inform their decisions, sticking rigidly to the land-sparing rather than land-sharing approach of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy.

Full article here.
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Footnote: egg rationing is also back

[image credit: Daily Mail]

  1. oldbrew says:

  2. MrGrimNasty says:

    It’s certainly true that UK growers are avoiding extending the growing season because the cost of heating is too high compared to the price they can get for the produce.

    But we are not getting the whole story. In the shops near me it literally went from nicely ripe tomatoes and peppers to nothing overnight. And abroad there is clearly no issue as yet.

    It’s more like a logistics fail (shipping strike) or a supplier dispute, or political, or something mad like a blackmail/terrorist poisoning threat that they don’t want to disclose.

  3. saighdear says:

    I can’t think what to write :- The sound of the protesting Vegans is sure deafening me. …

  4. Chaswarnertoo says:

    Anyone who believes in net zero should stop exhaling CO2 right now.

  5. oldbrew says:

    Tomatoes denied by extreme weather!
    Extreme cold and floods have seen crop yields hit hard

    It has been unusually cold in Spain recently, with heavy flooding taking place in Morocco – negatively hitting the harvest which the UK relies on for those vegetables.

    The UK’s experience of a recent cold snap has also impacted domestic yields, with the British Retail Consortium warning it will be “a few weeks” before the UK can start growing crops successfully again.

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