Prince Charles has praised the work of the Alliance for Agricultural Biodiversity as being of "fundamental importance to the future of humanity".

Prince Charles

Prince Charles

The 69-year-old royal is the royal patron of The Crop Trust - which aims to preserve crop diversity in order to protect global food security - and on Tuesday (30.01.18) hosted a reception for the charity at Clarence House, where he spoke about the importance of monitoring the food people eat.

He said: "As Patron of the Crop Trust, I was very touched indeed to be asked, I really am so pleased to have the opportunity to meet the distinguished members of the Alliance for Agricultural Biodiversity while they are actually here in London for their latest gathering. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that their work is of fundamental importance to the future of humanity.

"What we eat, and in what quantities, can be the difference between life and death. It can keep us healthy, or ruin us. And we can produce this food in harmony with the environment that sustains every aspect of our lives, or place our own survival in peril by undermining it."

Charles went on to discuss the effect climate change is having on crops, and said that whilst current food production methods are "unsustainable", agricultural biodiversity - which involves growing crops that are not always the most popular in order to contribute to food security - is one of "the world's most valuable natural resources".

He continued: "Agricultural biodiversity needs to be recognised as one of the world's most valuable natural resources. Whatever we allow to be lost is gone forever. So every time we allow it to be diminished we sacrifice our options for the future, leaving our food systems more vulnerable to the challenges that lie ahead, be they the production of sufficient nutritious food for an increasing population, adaptation to changing climates, the ravages of new pests and diseases or, indeed, all of the above."

And the royal also highlighted the important work of The Crop Trust, which he dubbed as "crucial", and said the charity has his "full support".

In closing his speech, he said: "So the time to act is now. And a much more ambitious and global effort to appreciate, safeguard and share the world's food diversity is urgently required. This is why, if I may say so, the work of the Crop Trust and the Food Forever Initiative is so absolutely crucial. As I said, it has my full support, for what it's worth and I hope, as its Patron, and I pray Ladies and Gentlemen it has yours too."

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