Ukraine is a major producer of cereals (wheat, barley and maize) and oilseeds/vegetable oil (mainly sunflower). The UK imports relatively small amounts of wheat and barley from Ukraine – its biggest import is maize (approximately 30% of the total amount of maize that the UK imports) and the majority of that is used in animal feed.
The impact of energy price rises, however, particularly on fertiliser production, is a pressure that is adding to price inflation on food production, alongside, for example, fuel, transport, labour and materials. While many growers will already have in stock, or, on order, sufficient fertiliser for 2022, continued disruption to supply or manufacture could have a significant impact for crop year 2023. In addition, impacts on imports and exports of fish, as a result of sanctions and supply chain barriers, have also impacted on the economic resilience and therefore food security in the seafood sector.
The Taskforce was set up as part of work to monitor issues like these closely, largely arising from the war in Ukraine. As mentioned already at paragraph 8 above, the outputs from it also pave the way for future work around wider food security concerns, which is essential to critical national infrastructure, to be undertaken. Clearly, the short life nature of this taskforce meant that identifying immediate issues arising from the war in Ukraine has been its focus.
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