This briefing is designed to support the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee’s (the Committee’s) inquiry into food security. The Committee’s inquiry follows its 2020 and 2021 inquiries on food security, which were focused on issues related to supply of food during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee’s current inquiry looks more broadly at the steps government can take to support food security, including the role of the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) in fulfilling its lead responsibility for food policy.

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In this briefing we have not attempted to produce our own assessment of the food security risks the UK faces as other contributors to the inquiry are better placed to do that. Rather, the briefing aims to support the Committee’s inquiry by setting out some facts about Defra’s role in ensuring food security. The material is based on analysis of a range of publicly available information including Defra’s annual reports and accounts, and government strategies. We have supplemented this through interviews with, and documents received from, Defra.