The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) has welcomed the launch of the government's Food Strategy but says significant investment is required to see it succeed.

The strategy sets out a blueprint for creating a more thriving, affordable and sustainable agri-food sector.

It highlights ways it can support farmers by helping increase domestic production, spread jobs and grow the economy.

Food security (having enough food to meet individual needs) has majored heavily within the report following Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine.

This has had knock-on impacts on food supplies and price spikes.

While the strategy is wide-ranging and ambitious, RABDF's chairman Di Wastenage says it will require significant investment beyond the funding already announced.

She said: "Whilst it may seem like a lot of money is being invested into the agri-food sectors, my worry is a lot of this money is old money, and in reality, it needs a lot of newer investment to pull it off.

"That said, this report rightly highlights the importance of food security and the value placed on British farmers.

"For far too long, food and our farmers have been undervalued. Now it's time consumers understand the true value of the food they consume.

“Farmers produce healthy, nutritious food with low food miles without impacting the environment.

"Dairy and meat proteins are very much part of a healthy and balanced diet providing essential vitamins and minerals needed for good health and development," she added.

Wastenage continued:

"It feels like the tide is turning regarding farming and its impact on the environment.

"This report shows that farmers can produce food in an environmentally sensitive way by adopting the principles of regenerative agriculture.

Regarding the labour situation in the dairy sector, Wastenage added:

"We are grateful the labour situation is still on the government's radar. 

"This is a real issue for dairy farmers right now.

"While we are keen to engage with the government and the wider industry to find ways to recruit domestic labour more successfully, in the short term, we also need to access highly skilled permanent labour from overseas.