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(Return to the manifesto)

In summary:

  1. Food security in the UK is non-existent. We are committed to helping the country transition to be food-secure for all citizens.
  2. We cannot rely on imports.
  3. We cannot rely on the weather, or that climate change will be beneficial to our current farming regime.
  4. We will support the development and roll-out of algae foodstock production on a scale capable of feeding the country. Factories take in carbon dioxide, light and mineral supplements, they output oxygen and single-celled organic matter. The single-celled organic matter can be tailored into simulations of all the current foods sold to the public. These simulated foods will be equally nutritious and enjoyable, but will cost significantly less than farm produce.
  5. We intend that all modern land farming with multicellular domesticated plants and animals be relegated to a hobbyist pursuit, that it should happen on a vastly reduced scale catering for "organically grown" wealthy holdouts, that the freed land be re-wilded and that wildlife throughout the country be better protected from prejudicial human contact. We have no view on who should own the land but we are determined that they should be out-priced on all food, so that the majority may choose to adopt the new products as ethically preferable and noticeably cheaper at the till.
  6. For the sake of clarity, "prejudicial human contact" means being killed by humans.

In detail:

This country is unable to create or even afford a strategic backlog of even one year's worth of food for the entire population; climate change makes reliance on domestic farming increasingly precarious; for the same reason the world food market is increasingly likely to fail to offer sufficient resources even at increased prices.

Our country's food security faces severe and growing threats that demand proactive policy measures. We are past the position where the current 3-6 month stockpile of key staples like grains and edible oils recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for vulnerable countries are adequate when faced with the growing threat to production capacity both nationally and across the world market.

Domestic production, which has historically supplied the bulk of our needs, is increasingly imperilled by climate change. The National Climate Assessment projects that yields of major crops like wheat and soy will decline 5-15% by 2050 under current emissions scenarios, with extreme weather events causing periodic sharp disruptions. Reliance on imports to fill the gap appears risky as climate change is simultaneously undermining global food production. Studies forecast that the odds of multiple breadbasket failures in the same year, as occurred with wheat in 2007 and 2010, will rise several-fold in coming decades, while population growth drives demand ever higher. The resulting supply crunches and spiking food prices threaten both the availability and affordability of nutrition, especially for low-income households. In light of these converging risks, boosting food system resilience through measures like expanded stockpiles, agricultural adaptation investment, and support for vulnerable groups must be an urgent national priority. Failure to act leaves our country critically exposed to a disruption that could rapidly escalate into a full-blown food crisis.

The UK's food security is under increasing threat, and we must take decisive action now to protect our nation's future. Although the government maintains limited emergency food stockpiles, these reserves would quickly be exhausted in a major crisis. The UK imports nearly half of its food, leaving us vulnerable to disruptions in global supply chains. Climate change is making these disruptions more likely with each passing year.

As global temperatures rise, droughts, floods, and extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and severe. These disasters can devastate harvests, leading to widespread crop failures. In the coming decades, climate change could slash the production of staple crops like wheat and corn in major agricultural regions around the world. The risk of multiple breadbasket failures in the same year, which would trigger global food shortages and skyrocketing prices, is projected to increase several-fold by 2050.

The UK is not immune to these impacts. Our own farmers are already grappling with more erratic weather, and climate projections indicate that yields of key crops could drop significantly in the future. At the same time, the global population is growing, putting even greater strain on food supplies. As competition for dwindling resources intensifies, the UK could find itself struggling to secure sufficient affordable food on the international market.

We cannot afford to gamble with our nation's food security. The consequences of inaction could be catastrophic, leading to chronic food shortages, economic instability, and even famine in the UK. We must act now, before the crisis escalates beyond our control.

Food producers are currently developing a continuous-flow manufacturing system in which single-cell algae is cultured in contamination-free factory conditions consuming primarily light, carbon dioxide and minerals. The resulting biomass can be restructured to a palatable resemblance to food products presently on sale, but with the potential of reliable year-round availability at lower cost than the existing market. This can profitably be expanded to feed the nation more cheaply than existing farming allows.

This emergence of algae-based food production is a promising development that could help address the food security challenges we face. By growing algae in controlled factory environments, we can create a reliable, year-round source of nutrition that is largely insulated from the impacts of climate change and other external disruptions.

The potential benefits are significant. Algae can be cultivated with far less land, water, and energy compared to traditional crops, making it a highly efficient and sustainable food source. The ability to precisely control growing conditions in factories allows for optimal yields and consistent quality, reducing waste and variability. The resulting algae biomass can be processed into a wide range of familiar food products, from protein-rich meat and dairy alternatives to nutrient-packed snacks and beverages.

The lower production costs of algae-based foods makes them more affordable than their conventional counterparts, improving access to healthy, nutritious options for consumers across the income spectrum.

The changing climate suggests that this is no longer a complement to existing agriculture, it's a necessary replacement of a system that is potentially and eventually going to crash in volume as conditions worsen. Research and development and scaling up will clearly be a costly exercise but the profit available thereafter is the reason it will be committed. This is not a government initiative, this is a commercial reality.

The urgency of transitioning to alternative food production methods like algae cultivation in the face of worsening climate impacts on traditional agriculture. As droughts, floods, and extreme weather events become more frequent and severe, the viability of conventional farming will likely decline, potentially leading to widespread crop failures and food shortages.

This is an inevitable context. The focus on algae-based foods needs to shift from a complementary role to a primary source of nutrition for the UK population. The controlled factory environments used for algae production offer a level of resilience and reliability that will become increasingly valuable as outdoor growing conditions deteriorate. By largely decoupling food production from the variability of weather and climate, algae factories can help ensure a stable, secure food supply even in the face of escalating environmental disruptions.

The fact that this transition is being driven by commercial interests rather than government initiatives is equally essential. Private sector investment in algae production facilities and R&D suggests that businesses see a significant market opportunity in this space, which could accelerate the scale-up and deployment of this technology. The profit motive has to provide the necessary incentive for companies to undertake the costly process of researching, developing, and building out algae-based food production capacity.

Government standards oversight is an aspect of this new arena to the same extent as it already is in traditional agriculture. It is a normal function of government. What we're doing is outlining the future and saying it has our support and encouragement but we're not advocating it, we're not demanding it, we're agreeing its inevitability and showing our commitment to supporting the development as in the national interest. We regard it as a necessity.

Ensuring that these new food products are safe, nutritious, and accurately labelled is a core responsibility of regulators and a key aspect of maintaining public trust in the food system.

There are several ways that the government can demonstrate its commitment to supporting the responsible development of the algae-based food industry:

  • Investing in research and development to help refine production methods, assess nutritional value and safety, and identify potential social and environmental impacts.
  • Providing incentives, such as tax breaks or subsidies, to encourage private sector investment in algae production facilities and infrastructure.
  • Developing a clear and efficient regulatory framework to oversee the industry, ensuring that standards are met without stifling innovation.

By taking these proactive steps, the government can help create an enabling environment for the algae-based food industry to develop in a way that maximizes benefits and minimizes risks. This supportive stance sends a clear signal to businesses and investors about the government's long-term commitment to this emerging field.

Revision 2

Our commitment to ensuring a resilient, sustainable, and equitable food future for the UK demands that we embrace the potential of emerging food production technologies. Chief among these is the cultivation of algae-based foods in controlled factory environments. This innovative approach offers a promising solution to the growing threats that climate change poses to our food security and the long-term viability of traditional agriculture.

As rising temperatures, more frequent droughts and floods, and increasingly extreme weather events wreak havoc on croplands around the world, the stability and reliability of our food supply is put increasingly at risk. Algae-based foods, which can be grown year-round in climate-controlled facilities with minimal land, water, and energy requirements, represent a critical tool for building resilience into our food system.

The private sector has already recognized the enormous potential of this technology, with significant investments being made in research, development, and the construction of algae production facilities. As a government, we have a responsibility to support and encourage this transition, not by dictating the pace or the particulars of this shift, but by creating an enabling environment that allows this innovative industry to flourish.

This means maintaining robust safety and quality standards to ensure that algae-based foods are nutritious, safe, and accurately labelled. It means investing in R&D to refine production methods and assess potential impacts. It means providing targeted incentives to spur private sector investment and growth. And it means engaging in public education and dialogue to build understanding and trust in these novel food products.

At the same time, we must acknowledge that the transition to algae-based foods as a primary component of our diets will not happen overnight. Traditional agriculture will continue to play a vital role in the coming years, even as its vulnerabilities become more apparent. Our approach must balance support for algae industry development with efforts to improve the resilience and sustainability of conventional farming.

The challenges posed by climate change are daunting, but within them lie opportunities to build a food system that is more secure, more sustainable, and more equitable. By embracing the potential of algae-based foods and providing the necessary support and oversight for their responsible development, we can take a proactive step towards ensuring that all UK citizens have access to affordable, nutritious food in the face of an uncertain climate future.

This is not about advocating for one approach over another, but about acknowledging the inevitability of change and taking steps to shape that change in a way that benefits all. It is about recognizing that the status quo is no longer sufficient in the face of the momentous challenges we face. It is about having the courage and the foresight to act now, before crisis is upon us.

In the end, this is about the most fundamental responsibility of government: ensuring the wellbeing and security of our people. By supporting the development of algae-based foods as part of a diverse, resilient, and sustainable food system, we can help fulfil that responsibility for generations to come. The path ahead may be uncertain, but with bold action and a commitment to innovation, we can build a future in which no one in the UK goes hungry, and in which our food supply is secure in the face of whatever challenges climate change may bring.

There is a clear consequence on the current farming industry. Nobody will be banned from farming but the commercial reality is that the new system is a great deal more cost-effective. Food prices from reformed algae production will become stable indefinitely instead of forced upward by scarcity. Those people with deep purses and a preference for traditional foods will clearly offer a niche market but our government has no plan or desire to prop up farming financially to compete with new products. Land currently used for farming will be freed up for wildlife conservation. We regard that as a benefit and we will support such use with legislation.

The transition to algae-based foods as a major component of the UK's food supply will undoubtedly have significant implications for the current farming industry. The economic realities of this shift are stark: algae production is simply far more cost-effective than traditional agriculture, thanks to its ability to produce large volumes of nutritious food with comparatively minor demands on land, water, and energy.

As algae-based products become more widely available and affordable, they will likely capture an increasing share of the market, putting pressure on conventional farmers who may struggle to compete on price. While there will likely remain a niche market for traditional, farm-grown foods among affluent consumers willing to pay a premium, this alone may not be sufficient to sustain the industry at its current scale.

It's important to acknowledge that this transition could have painful consequences for many in the farming community. Agriculture is not just an economic sector, but a way of life with deep cultural and historical roots. The potential loss of livelihoods and the transformation of rural landscapes and communities is not something to be taken lightly.

At the same time, we must recognize that attempting to artificially prop up traditional farming in the face of the irresistible economic forces driving the shift to algae-based foods would be a costly and ultimately futile endeavour. Subsidizing farmers to grow crops that can be produced far more efficiently by algae factories would be a misallocation of public resources and a failure to confront the realities of a changing world.

Instead, our focus should be on managing this transition in a way that mitigates the negative impacts on affected communities and individuals while harnessing the potential benefits of this shift. This could involve providing support for farmers looking to transition to other livelihoods, whether through retraining programs, business development assistance, or early retirement packages. It could also mean investing in rural economic diversification strategies to create new opportunities in areas likely to be impacted by the decline of traditional agriculture.

One of the most exciting potential benefits of the transition to algae-based foods is the opportunity it presents to free up vast tracts of land currently used for farming. This land could be restored to a more natural state, providing habitat for wildlife, enhancing biodiversity, and delivering a range of ecosystem services.

Negotiating with farmers, rural residents, and other stakeholders will be critical to building trust and finding mutually beneficial solutions. This could involve developing incentive programs for landowners who voluntarily convert their land to conservation purposes, or creating new revenue streams around sustainable uses of restored natural areas.

Ultimately, the transition to algae-based foods represents a major transformation of our food system and our rural landscapes. While the economic and environmental benefits are clear, we must not underestimate the social and cultural challenges this shift will entail. By approaching this transition with empathy, foresight, and a commitment to inclusive dialogue and support for affected communities, we can work to ensure that the benefits of this new food future are shared widely, and that no one is left behind in the process.

The consequences match with our government's existential commitment to species survival as climate change increasingly affects wildlife. The removal of the vast proportion of domesticated livestock makes space for wildlife to adjust. With our oversight we might manage to retain a proportion of species which are otherwise destined for immediate extinction.

As the demand for farm-based products declines with the widespread adoption of algae-derived alternatives, we can expect to benefit from a significant reduction in the number of animals raised for food. This, together with reduced grain, vegetable and fruit replacement, could free up enormous tracts of land currently used for grazing and crop cultivation. By restoring these lands to a more natural state, we can create new habitats and migration corridors for wildlife species that are increasingly under pressure from climate change and other human impacts.

The potential benefits are essential. Many species are already struggling to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions, with shifting temperature and precipitation patterns, more frequent extreme weather events, and other climate-related stressors putting them at risk of extinction. By providing more space for these species to move and adapt, we can improve their already limited chances of survival in the face of a harsh future.

In the end, the shift to algae-based foods offers a rare opportunity to align our food production system with our conservation goals. By reducing our reliance on domesticated livestock and freeing up land for wildlife, we can take a meaningful step towards protecting biodiversity and giving species the best possible chance of adapting to the challenges of a changing climate.

Of course, this transition alone will not be enough to fully address the extinction crisis we face. Climate change, habitat loss, pollution, and other threats will continue to put pressure on species around the world. But by seizing this opportunity to create more space for nature, we can buy precious time for these species and improve their odds of long-term survival.

As a government, we have a responsibility to take bold action to protect the incredible diversity of life on this planet, even as we work to ensure a secure and sustainable food supply for our own population. The transition to algae-based foods represents a once-in-a-generation chance to make progress on both fronts simultaneously. With careful planning, active management, and a commitment to inclusive dialogue and community engagement, we can turn this moment of transformation into a powerful force for conservation and resilience in the face of an uncertain future.

There is an equivalent need for species retention in our marine responsibilities. As food security grows from non-fishing resources it is our intention to ban all commercial exploitation from all UK marine environments at depths below 20 metres, and we will adjust our treaty commitments to reflect that and enforce the policy rigorously. The UK's territorial waters and exclusive economic zone are home to a significant diversity of marine life, from the cold-water coral reefs to productive habitats that support an array of fish, seabirds, and marine mammals.

Unfortunately, many of these species and ecosystems are under severe pressure from human activities, including overfishing, pollution, and climate change. As a result, we have seen alarming declines in the populations of many iconic marine species, from Atlantic cod to North Sea seabirds.

The shift to algae-based foods presents a unique opportunity to alleviate some of this pressure by reducing our reliance on wild-caught fish as a food source. As demand for fish declines, we can take bold steps to protect and restore our marine environments, ensuring that they remain healthy and resilient in the face of the challenges ahead.

Our proposal to ban all commercial activity below 20 metres in UK waters is a strong and necessary step in this direction. By protecting these water habitats, which are often beyond the reach of other conservation measures, we can provide a safe haven for a wide range of species and allow depleted aquatic stocks to recover. By shielding them from the damage caused by bottom trawling and other destructive fishing practices, we can help to support their long-term survival.

Implementing such a ban will require close coordination with our international partners and a willingness to adjust our existing treaty commitments. Many commercial fish stocks are shared across national boundaries, and effective conservation will require a coordinated acceptance of our revised policies.

By taking a leadership role in this effort and working to build consensus around the need for strong marine protection measures, the UK can help to drive progress towards a more sustainable and resilient future for our oceans. This will require a commitment to science-based decision making, a willingness to engage in good faith negotiations with our partners, and a dedication to enforcing these new protections rigorously and fairly.

It's important to recognize that this transition will not be without its challenges. Many coastal communities in the UK and around the world depend on fishing for their livelihoods, and the shift to algae-based foods and marine conservation will need to be managed in a way that supports these communities and provides alternative economic opportunities.

Ultimately, the transition to algae-based foods and the concurrent protection of our marine environments represents a powerful opportunity to chart a new course for our relationship with the oceans. By recognizing the interconnectedness of our food systems and the health of our planet, and by taking bold action to align our policies with the needs of both people and nature, we can build a future in which our oceans are thriving and our communities are resilient and prosperous. It will take vision, commitment, and hard work, but the rewards - for our economy, our environment, and the countless species with whom we share this blue planet - will be immeasurable.

Revision 3

Our world is changing, and with it, the very foundations of our food system. Climate change, with its rising temperatures, more frequent droughts and floods, and increasingly extreme weather events, poses an existential threat to traditional agriculture and the stability of our food supply. At the same time, our oceans are under immense pressure from overfishing, pollution, and habitat destruction, putting countless marine species at risk of extinction.

In the face of these challenges, we must embrace bold, transformative solutions. And that is precisely what our commitment to algae-based foods represents.

By harnessing the power of this innovative technology, we can build a food system that is more resilient, sustainable, and equitable. Algae, grown in controlled factory environments with minimal land, water, and energy requirements, offer a reliable, climate-proof source of nutrition that can be produced at a fraction of the cost of traditional crops and livestock.

The private sector has already recognized the enormous potential of this approach, with significant investments being made in research, development, and the construction of algae production facilities. As a government, our role is not to dictate the pace or particulars of this transition, but to create an enabling environment that allows this innovative industry to flourish, while ensuring that the benefits are shared widely.

This means maintaining robust safety and quality standards, investing in R&D, providing targeted incentives for growth, and engaging in public education to build trust in these novel food products. It also means acknowledging that the shift to algae-based foods will have significant implications for traditional agriculture, and working to manage this transition in a way that supports affected communities and individuals.

As algae-based products become more affordable and accessible, we can expect to see a significant reduction in the demand for animal-based foods. This presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape our relationship with the land and the sea.

By restoring the vast tracts of land currently used for livestock grazing and feed crop cultivation to a more natural state, we can create new habitats for wildlife, enhance biodiversity, and give countless species the space they need to adapt to a changing climate. And by reducing our reliance on wild-caught fish, we can take bold steps to protect and restore our marine environments, from the rich coastal habitats to the fragile ecosystems of the deep sea.

Our proposal to ban all commercial fishing below 20 meters in UK waters is a strong statement of our commitment to this vision. By creating a safe haven for marine life, we can help to ensure the long-term health and resilience of our oceans, while supporting the communities that depend on them through investment in sustainable aquaculture and eco-tourism.

Of course, this transition will not be without its challenges. It will require careful planning, inclusive dialogue, and a willingness to support those most affected. But the potential benefits - for our economy, our environment, and the countless species with whom we share this planet - are simply too great to ignore.

This is a moment that demands bold leadership and visionary thinking. As a government, we are committed to seizing this opportunity and charting a new course towards a more sustainable, resilient, and equitable future.

By embracing the potential of algae-based foods, we can build a food system that is climate-proof and crisis-ready. By restoring our lands and oceans, we can create space for nature to thrive, even in the face of unprecedented change. And by working together, we can ensure that the benefits of this transition are shared by all, leaving no one behind.

This is our vision for a food future that is not just sustainable, but regenerative. A future in which our food system is not a source of environmental degradation, but a powerful tool for conservation and resilience. A future in which healthy, nutritious food is accessible to all, and in which our lands and oceans are teeming with life.

Achieving this vision will not be easy. But with commitment, compassion, and a willingness to embrace change, we believe it is within reach. And we stand ready to lead the way, working hand in hand with communities, industry, and stakeholders to build a better future, for ourselves and for generations to come. The time to act is now. The world is changing, and we must change with it. Together, let us seize this moment, and build a food system and an economy that is truly worthy of the challenges and the opportunities of the 21st century.