"As the world has moved towards globalisation, there has been less talk of food security and more worry about where our food is produced.

Beef from South America and fresh vegetables from Southern Europe have become the norm, with less and less relevance to the seasons we experience here in the UK.

As well as food of all types being available 365 days a year, prices have remained low and the UK’s household budget spent on food is the third lowest in the world.

With the UK’s high welfare and environmental standards expected of production, this has provided challenges for our farmers to compete, resulting in their incomes being squeezed for years.

Leaving the EU was another new challenge for the sector, along with the greater focus on the important journey towards net zero, and opening up global food markets through trade deals.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, for the first time in a generation we had empty shelves in supermarkets. Thankfully, those shortages were short-lived and farmers’ resilience and inventiveness shone through to restock the shelves. This, I believe, provided a renewed focus to the general public as to the provenance of their food.

It helped the debate on future farm policy in the UK and at least brought food production to the fore, highlighting the importance of balancing land use with food production to keep the nation fed, along with caring for the environment and addressing climate change.

The tragic events in Ukraine have again turned the spotlight on food security and with Ukraine being one of the world’s largest wheat producers, and Russia the largest manufacturer of fertilisers, we are now seeing record wheat prices across the world – with fertiliser costs more than tripling.

UK farmers will, of course, adapt and do their very best to keep shelves filled. But perhaps it is time to look again at our own food security and the need to keep a sustainable and productive farming industry, balanced with delivering good environmental outcomes, and meeting net zero targets.

A few years ago, in the US, they had a campaign called ‘Thank a farmer’. The job UK farmers do is something consumers in the UK should think more about, as the challenges faced are often taken for granted.

This is about keeping the nation fed and encouraging people to consider where food comes from, the price we pay for it and the work that goes into delivering that food, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

On a final note, it does seem alien to be observing the economic fallout on the UK of an invasion, when so many are suffering and enduring events that no one ever thought we would see in our lifetime. My heart goes out to the people of Ukraine and I only hope that we see an end to this conflict, and that peace wins over."