COVID-19: Food supply to be probed by MPs 

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee has recently launched an inquiry into food supply during the Coronavirus pandemic, including access to healthy food during periods of self-isolation, and how disruptions in the food supply chain should be managed.

Robbie Moore MP, who is a member of the Committee will alongside other committee members assess current issues in the food supply chain and review strategies for mitigating potential risks as this Coronavirus pandemic continues. The EFRA Select Committee is currently seeking written evidence on the following questions and all are welcome to input their comments. This can be done so by visiting the EFRA Select Committee page on the UK Parliament website. The deadline for comments is Friday 1 May.   

  • Have measures announced by the Government to mitigate the disruptions to the food supply chain caused by the pandemic been proportionate, effective and timely? 
  • Are the Government and food industry doing enough to support people to access sufficient healthy food; and are any groups not having their needs met? If not, what further steps should the Government and food industry take?  
  • What further impacts could the current pandemic have on the food supply chain, or individual elements of it, in the short to medium-term and what steps do industry, consumers and the Government need to take to mitigate them? 
  • How effectively has the Government worked with businesses and NGOs to share information on disruptions to the supply chain and other problems, and to develop and implement solutions? How effectively have these actions been communicated to the public?   

Robbie Moore MP commented: "The Coronavirus pandemic has illustrated to us all the importance of resilience in our food supply chain. We have experienced for ourselves just how delicate the food supply chain is and how important it is that government has good communication with the public; assuring us all that food will continue to be available. We have seen empty shelves at local supermarkets, and many constituents remain anxious about extended periods of self-isolation during which buying food could be difficult. 

"Measures have been taken to deal with the impacts of panic-buying, but as a member of the EFRA Select Committee, I will be exploring the strategies that have been adopted to ensure the supply chain keeps moving, from domestic farming and food imports to the delivery of food to those who need it the most. We are in unprecedented times at the moment, but we need to ensure we that we have the right measures in place to ensure that everyone has access to enough healthy food, and crucially that those self-isolating, or struggling to afford food, are not forgotten.”