DUP MEP Diane Dodds has welcomed the move by the European Union to launch an online public consultation on measures to increase sustainable food production across the globe.
Mrs Dodds said it will allow members of the public to give their views on a 32-page discussion paper put together by a group of scientific experts across the EU.
She added: “The issue of food security and increasing food production is one that is becoming more and more important given the increased global demand. Whoever holds the keys to Downing Street after the General Election must focus on strengthening the agriculture industry across the UK to support production.
“This means helping to address the challenges and obstacles that farm businesses face when seeking to improve output, including high input costs and volatility in the price of commodities.
“To not tackle these challenges now risks having fewer farmers locally in the future, and a greater reliance on imports, which would be unacceptable.
“This consultation document suggests a range of new techniques and practices, covering arable and livestock systems, and has at its core a desire to open up a wider debate on cutting waste and inefficiency in the supply chain, increasing output and raising food safety and quality.
“I would encourage local stakeholders to engage with this exercise, and to express their views on the particular challenges they are facing. The consultation runs to 1 September 2015 and you can respond to the issues raised by completing the online survey at the link: https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/Expo2015-Research.”