Farmers' Union Swipes At Therese Coffey Over 'Flippant' Turnip Comments
Environment Secretary Therese Coffey.
The vice president of the National Farmers’ Union has taken a swipe at Therese Coffey over her “flippant” turnip comments.
David Exwood called on the government to take the food shortages “seriously” after the environment secretary raised eyebrows with her comments.
Coffey had suggested people should eat turnips to help ease the shortage of fruit and vegetables across the UK.
David Exwood made the comments on Sky News
The cabinet minister told MPs on Thursday it is important to “cherish the specialisms” that we have in this country.
“A lot of people would be eating turnips right now rather than thinking necessarily about aspects of lettuce and tomatoes and similar,” she added.
David Exwood(VP, NFU) - We can't rely on other countries to keep feeding us... we had 1 billion less eggs produced in this country last year.. this is a serious situation, & we need the govt to take it seriously, rather than make flippant comments about turnips#Ridge#bbclaurakpic.twitter.com/7xpnv8bjL9
— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) February 26, 2023
Exwood said: “We can’t rely on other countries to keep feeding us. So we need a plan that involves producing at home here as well as imports.
“Otherwise the situation we see will carry on. We had a billion less eggs produced in this country last year compared to 2019.
“Apple orchards are being grubbed up as we speak. This is a serious situation.
“We need the government to take it seriously rather than make flippant comments about turnips.”
Supermarkets have been rationing fresh produce after bad weather in north Africa and southern Europe has disrupted the UK’s supply chain. Some are insisting that Brexit is to blame too.
Some supermarkets introduced customer limits on certain fresh produce, with photographs emerging of empty shelves.