The Economist Intelligence Unit placed the UK 20th in an overall table for the affordability, availability, quality and safety of its food. The USA came top, followed by Denmark, Norway, France and the Netherlands.
"A combination of ample food supplies, high incomes, low spending on food relative to other outlays and significant investment in R&D put these countries at the top of the 105-nation index," the report's authors said.
The UK spends just three per cent of its agricultural income on R&D, putting it only marginally above the world average of 2.8 per cent, they found. By contrast, the USA and France spend eight per cent and Denmark and Norway, nine per cent.