Lantmännen welcomes the report on Sweden's food preparedness (“Utredningen om en ny livsmedelsberedskap”) that was published on Thursday 1 February.
"We are positive about the investigation and believe and hope that it will lead to quick decisions and immediate, concrete measures," says Per Arfvidsson, Deputy CEO and CTO, at Lantmännen.
Lantmännen, which is owned by 18,000 Swedish farmers and has an annual turnover of more than SEK 60 billion, has unique knowledge and expertise in food supply – from field to fork. With this as a starting point, Lantmännen would like to comment, and in some cases supplement, the investigation with three action points.
- Sweden has no food preparedness today. Lantmännen therefore proposes that the government urgently begin the work of building up stocks and Swedish production capacity together with the companies concerned of grain, plant nutrients and other important inputs for agricultural and food production. Grain is Sweden's largest crop and can be stored for a long time and cost-effectively. Furthermore, cereals have a wide range of uses, both as food and as feed to produce nutritious foods such as milk, meat, and eggs.
- Building up grain stocks takes several years, which is why Lantmännen believes it is important that the government starts with concrete measures as soon as possible. The importance of this was also emphasized at Society and Defence's (“Folk och Försvar”) national conference, as well as in the interim report from the Defence Commission (“Försvarsberedningen”). And it is also mentioned in the current report about Sweden's food preparedness (“Utredningen om en ny livsmedelsberedskap”).
- The most important thing for a long-term robust food security is to create better conditions for agriculture so that production can increase. Preparedness over time requires increased competitiveness and profitability among Swedish farmers and the food industry. Expectations of the Government's review of the national food strategy, which will be presented in a few months' time, are therefore high.
"The issue of Sweden's food security has now been discussed, debated and sufficiently investigated – now is the time to act and prioritize. Politicians should set aside funds as soon as possible to build up stockpiling and develop an operational model for concrete cooperation with the industry. It is in the food industry that the competence and ability are found, but the funding must come from the state. At Lantmännen, we want to and will take our responsibility, but also be clear about our expectations of collaboration with the state and authorities as well as actors throughout the value chain," says Per Arfvidsson.
"Lantmännen is positive to the conclusions of the report and assumes that the government will now choose to move from words and investigations to immediate and concrete action," concludes Per Arfvidsson.
For more information, please contact:
Phone: +46 708 70 00 60
Lantmännen Press Office
Phone: +46 10 556 88 00