Strategies for agricultural change and the UK balance of payments

  • C.R. Blackman

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The world food crisis, Britain's reliance on imported food and feedstuffs and balance of payments difficulties were some of the factors which lent weight to the call for increased self-sufficiency in Britain's agriculture in the 1970s. This project considers two main areas: an investigation of the impact of radical agricultural change, designed to increase self-sufficiency, on the balance of payments; and, an appraisal of the potential role of the food industry within a radically different food system. The study proceeded by: an examination of the principles of agricultural policy and its development in Britain; an overview of the mechanism and meaning of the balance of payments; a consideration of the
    debate on agricultural import saving; the construction of radical agricultural strategies; the estimation of effects of the strategies, particularly to the balance of. payments; the role of the food industry and possible innovations within the strategies; a case study of textured vegetable proteins; and, the wider implications of implementation of radical agricultural alternatives. Two strategies were considered: a vegan system, involving no livestock; and, an intermediate
    system, including some livestock and dairy cattle. The study concludes that although agricultural change could in principle make a contribution to the balance of payments, implementation of agricultural change cannot be justified for this purpose alone. First, balance of payments problems can be solved by more appropriate methods. Second, the UK' s balance of payments problem has disappeared for the time being owing to North Sea oil and economic recession. Third, the political and social consequences of the changes investigated would be unacceptable. Progress in UK food policy is likely to be in the form of an integrated food and health policy.
    Date of AwardMay 1981
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorErnest Braun (Supervisor)


    • food policy
    • self-sufficiency
    • economics
    • food industry
    • diet

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