Food security and Ukraine: Henry Matthews on Farming Today

March 2022

Image for press release - Henry Matthews standing in a wheat field, facing towards the camera
(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Writtle University College senior lecturer Henry Matthews discussed food security implications resulting from the invasion of Ukraine on BBC's Farming Today programme on March 8th.

A response to the crisis has been a call for an increase in production in some countries. The European Union's reformed common agricultural policy (CAP), set to begin in 2023, encourages environmentally-friendly, sustainable farming. Henry described the new green deal's admirable work on social and environmental issues but highlighted the lack of focus on increased yields.

He warned of the inevitability of rising food prices and said: "Governments across Europe - and certainly in this country - have taken their eye off the ball in terms of food security and although we're not going to be the worst hit by the issues of higher food prices, there are parts of the world that will, particularly in North Africa."

WUC lecturers, including Henry Matthews, worked with academics in Ukraine between 1999 and 2021, as part of several EU initiatives. Last year, members of the academic team contributed to the TOPAS project, which included universities from Kyiv and Sumy. It involved ten partners in six European countries and aimed contribute to common former soviet-inherited agricultural sciences higher education systems.

For Writtle University College's statement regarding events in Ukraine and WUC's sympathy and solidary for those whose lives have been impacted, visit our website.