A Co-Operative Path to Food Security in the UK
16 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 9, 2011
The issue of food security is rising rapidly up the political agenda, especially in Europe. The broad parameters of the EU were developed in the immediate post-war years and, consequently, much of its early energy in the area of agriculture was devoted to supporting farmers and maximizing food production. This led to over-production and a lack of attention to environmental standards in agriculture. More recently, a number of ecological and economic issues have combined to threaten supplies of food to some of Europe’s developed nations, particularly the UK. This paper begins by outlining the nature of the problem facing the UK in terms of food supply. It sets the debate within the framework of climate change and resource insecurity, indicating that the UK’s policy of trading financial services in return for food bought on the global market seems increasingly vulnerable. The paper then moves on to consider the role of co-operatives in food production and distribution and identifies the dominance of food in the history and current status of the co-operative movement in the UK. By way of conclusion, the paper questions how the co-operative economic model may be able to make a timely contribution to underpinning food security in the UK.
Keywords: co-operatives, social enterprise, food security
JEL Classification: P13, Q13, Q24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation