Professor Chris Elliott has warned that a combination of factors, such as Brexit and global warming, mean that the UK’s food supply is potentially less secure now than it has been at any point in the last 70 years.

Speaking at the Food Fraud, Culture and Modern Catering Processes conference, Professor Elliott cautioned that the UK is “not prepared for the many challenges that Brexit will pose to the safe supply and production of food”, with “compromises on food safety standards” being a real and immediate threat.

In addition, he stated that lack of action on global warming is leading to the “increase in incidences of disease and drought that have already devastated some of the food commodities” that the UK has come to rely on.

Finally, he warned that increased price pressure on food suppliers continues to increase the risk of food fraud as farmers and producers struggle to meet the lower prices demanded by retailers.

Professor Elliott concluded: “As a country we need to seriously begin considering how we ‘future proof’ the integrity of our food supply in the face of the challenges coming in the next few years.

“To understand what we are eating, where it comes from and how it was produced are of fundamental importance to regaining trust. To reconnect with our food system should be considered a national imperative.”