Food is wanted in the UK because we have over 60million people to feed and not enough farmers or land to provide it!
We have the best market in the EU and everyone else is after it.
We farmers get the lowest prices in the EU because we don't get the subsidies due to the 71%+ claw back of funds drawn down by the UK. Therefore, UK taxes are going to support agriculture in other countries that supply our market. All goes to show how thick we are or how clever the EU is at exploiting our wealth.
What Beckett is saying is that it is cheaper to import food (of dubious quality and with a disease risk) from underdeveloped countries than it is to produce it at home. If you consider the cost of the FMD bill (£29bn?), it puts a different light on the subject.
Beckett is also saying that Britain cannot afford to feed itself at its own cost base. So lets go rob a poorer country of their food! - which won't help those countries because it will increase the cost of food in those countries. They will increase production to supply the new market but you can be sure our PLC food importers will NOT pay a fair price for it - even though it is cheap compared to home produced - vis coffee, tea etc producers who can't afford to feed their families.