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Out of control prices demand food strategy for NZ

Out of control prices demand a food strategy for NZ

New Zealand must start developing strategies to ensure a sufficient supply of food to withstand global shortages and out of control food prices, Green Party Safe Food Spokesperson Sue Kedgley warned today.

"Food riots, plunging world food stocks and out of control prices for basic commodities like rice and bread are a warning of things to come," Ms Kedgley says.

"New Zealand urgently needs a food security strategy, to put in place mechanisms to ensure we have sufficient food to survive interruptions in basic food commodities like wheat, corn and rice, and which encourage growing these basic commodities in New Zealand.

"In the absence of any food security strategy, basic staple crops like wheat are being pulled up and replaced with dairying.

"By continuing down the path of becoming a dairy farming nation, we are further undermining our food security and are making ourselves even more dependent on imports for staple crops.

"We must have a strategy to reduce our dependence on imported staple commodities like wheat and corn, and move towards self sufficiency in as many basic staple crops as possible.

"The assumption is that there will always be enough food in New Zealand. But the reality is that we import about half the food we eat, and our reliance on imports is growing by the year.

"We rely on imports for many of the basic staples that make bread, pasta, rice and other staple foods. We don't want to find ourselves a few years down the track, with rationing of basic foods and queues such as is already happening in other countries, because our government didn't make the necessary preparations."

ENDS

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