The headline figure is that we only provide 62% of the country's food supply. And this is set to get worse. The UK is on course to become the most populous country in the European Union - an estimated 77million people by 2040 - and official figures suggest our ability to feed ourselves will drop to just 53% by then. So, my message today is: it is time to Back British Farming.
It is hard to express how depressing it is to get out of bed at 5.30am to work a 14 hour day to lose more money. It's difficult to carry on. We are dairy farmers on the north side of Dartmoor National Park with a small herd of 100 milking cows. We are struggling to survive. For every litre of milk we sell we now lose seven pence.
Instead of running wild over hills and dales, they get walked twice a day, if they are lucky, and get to pee on a tree in the midst of a concrete wasteland. If we were honest with ourselves, we would call this selfish. We would acknowledge that the dogs are not as happy as they could be, but we think they are cute and they amuse us, so we imprison them.
It's not often you meet someone who inspires you, the way Carole Webb inspired me, but earlier this year I was privileged to meet this wonderful lady and all her animals - including Moonbeam, George, Blossom and Jack. Spending time at Farm Animal Rescue Sanctuary confirmed to me, just how intelligent and gentle, farm animals are.
As a member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee in the European Parliament I have questioned the wisdom behind aspects of the CAP's aims and implementation and I intend to be no less vocal on its contribution to the growing problem of land grabbing in the EU. Inequality is a growing curse in society: a growing inequality in land ownership will only exacerbate matters further.
This is the first time MRSA of livestock origin has been found in British pig meat. The findings add to the growing evidence that overuse of antibiotics in farming is contributing to resistance in life-threatening infections in humans, and supports the call for urgent action to address inappropriate use in farming.
The next few months will see the closest fought election in a generation. Already the economy, welfare, health and education have been occupying headline space as some of the most important issues which affect people and therefore their vote. But where is food in this debate? More importantly, where is safe, secure, traceable British food?
Feeding a growing global population of nine billion people by 2050 is one of the world's biggest challenges--especially in the context of rapid urbanisation, rising amounts of food waste and climate change. During one day of discussions senior executives from agribusiness, policymaking and the NGO community examined approaches to food and nutrition security.
After two years, the government's own results clearly show the pilot culls have failed to deliver on either effectiveness or humaneness.
When it was broadcast on the radio "eat less" came out as a ridiculous blunder - as if I had said that people who were hungry or could only afford to eat hamburgers should eat less. Of course poor people don't have any choice. Half the world is hungry, poverty increases; everyone is so worried. Therefore people were angry with me. Luckily the press then reported my interview in full and this cleared up what I was really trying to say. They quoted me, "What's good for the planet is good for people". Most importantly the press then posted the fundamental question: Is Big Ag.( agricultural capitalism) good or bad? This is the urgent debate we must have.
The spectre of avian influenza has once again been raised by a double-strike in Europe. The highly contagious strain, H5N8, which could potentially affect people, has been discovered on a Dutch poultry farm, whilst a further case has been found on a duck breeding farm in Yorkshire, England, although the strain has yet to be confirmed.