Paterson urges greater consumption of "top-class" UK fruit & veg

Owen Paterson MP - image:HW
Owen Paterson MP - image:HW
Defra secretary Owen Paterson used his address to yesterday's session of the Oxford Farming Conference to highlight the "huge opportunity" that exists to boost consumption of UK-grown fruit and vegetables.

"We grow some of the best food in the world here, so why is 24 per cent of the food eaten in the UK imported when it could be produced here?" he asked.

"We have a top-class fruit and veg sector which produces everything from green beans to strawberries, yet we imported £8 billion of fruit and veg in 2012.

"We can't grow mangoes or pineapples, but we can encourage UK consumers and food businesses to buy Scottish raspberries or Kent apples.

"This is a huge opportunity, and it's up to all of us – farmers, food manufacturers and government – to take action.

"By buying seasonal fruit and veg we can improve the nation's health, help the environment and boost the economy."

He also reaffirmed his support for GM technology, saying it "presents some of the biggest and most exciting opportunities for agriculture".

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