Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Governance and policy

Policy on food incorporates a wide range of direct legislation on, for example, food safety regulation, farming methods, chemical use, production techniques and packaging. Governance of the food system takes place at multiple levels from the international (e.g. international trade agreements) through to the local (e.g. local authority planning policies influencing the siting of food businesses). Governance can encompass both 'hard' and ‘soft’ measures. The former commonly refers to legislation involving mandatory standards, caps, or bans, and economic instruments such as taxes and subsidies. 'Softer' approaches are usually taken to include voluntary standards, encouragement of voluntary industry action, and public education campaigns. In addition to the state, non-state actors including corporations and nongovernmental organisations also make policies that influence the future direction of the food system. To achieve progress towards a more sustainable food system it is essential to have effective and joined up governance of the food system at multiple levels, and across geographic borders and sectors.

24 March 2017

In this policy briefing “A Healthy and Sustainable Food Future Policy recommendations to embed sustainability in the Eatwell Guide and wider UK food policy” the Eating Better Alliance and Medact call on Public Health England (PHE), government more broadly and health professionals to do more to promote healthy and sustainable diets and to ensure that dietary recommendations underpin food and farming policy.

15 March 2017

The Food Ethics Council has published the ‘food issues census 2017’, which provides an assessment of the activities and capacities of civil society organisations (CSOs) working on food and farming in the UK.

15 March 2017

Utilizing a model derived from literature on environmental justice overlaid with multiple scales of agriculture, Environmental Justice and Farm Labor provides key insights about laborers in agriculture in the United States. It addresses three main topics: (1) justice-related issues facing farmers and laborers on farms; (2) how history and policy have impacted them; and (3) the opportunities and leverage points for change in improving justice outcomes.

7 March 2017

This report by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) and commissioned by UK’s Eating Better Alliance looks at future policies towards livestock farming and trade in the UK and EU.

7 March 2017

The World Cancer Research Fund International has created the NOURISHING policy database which has now been updated and holds 390 policy actions from 125 countries, and 70 evaluations.

Image credit: Hernán García Crespo, ‘Refrescos’, Flickr, Creative commons licence
28 February 2017

Concerns about the links between trade and investment agreements and the spread of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) have seen increasing scholarly attention in the past years. Reviewing 44 low- and middle-income countries over 13 years, this paper aims to provide a generalizable analysis of how trade and investment liberalisation has affected the growth in sales of SSBs, contributing to the evidence base on how international trade impacts health.

21 February 2017

This 120-page report by the RUAF Foundation aims to provide suggestions for private sector actors in city regions’ food systems based on an extensive study of three cities. It presents knowledge on policy support mechanisms and identifies key lessons learned in the three case studies, which were conducted in Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Quito, Ecuador; and Bristol, UK.

Photo credit: World Trade Organization, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
21 February 2017

In international trade agreements, restrictions on goods or demands for labelling which differ from country to country can be ‘barriers to trade’, effectively restricting the free movement of goods. Trade organisations which manage such agreements, such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO), have mechanisms in place to ensure that environmental or public health measures are not in fact ‘disguised restrictions on international trade’ which aim to protect national industries. Formal processes exist in the WTO to query public health and environment regulations for their ‘trade restrictiveness’, their necessity and the possibility of using alternatives.

8 February 2017

This book by Katharine Cresswell Riol provides a review of the objectives of the Right to Food Guidelines that were implemented a decade ago.

31 January 2017

This book by John W. Head is about building legal foundations to support agroecological farming practices. 

31 January 2017

The German Development Institute along with the African Centre for Technology Studies,the Stockholm Environment Institute, and the UNFCCC secretariat have developed a new tool to compare the 163 existing national climate action plans.

Daniel Oines, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
24 January 2017

In this paper, a coupled agriculture and health modelling framework is used to estimate the mitigation potential and global health impacts from emissions pricing of food commodities. The analysis suggests that levying an appropriately designed GHG tax on food would be a health-promoting climate change mitigation policy in all high-income, middle income and most low-income countries. It is suggested that sparing healthy foods from taxation, selectively compensating for income losses from the tax, and channelling the subsequent revenues to health promotion could avert potential negative health impacts on vulnerable groups.

17 January 2017

Contemporary agriculture is often criticized for its industrial scale, adverse effects on nutrition, rural employment and the environment, and its disconnectedness from nature and culture. Yet there are many examples of traditional smaller scale systems that have survived the test of time and provide more sustainable solutions while still maintaining food security in an era of climate change. This book provides a unique compilation of this forgotten agricultural heritage and is based on objective scientific evaluation and evidence of the value of these systems for present and future generations.

17 January 2017

In ‘From Plate to Guide: What, why and how for the eatwell model’ Public Health England details how it moved from its 2014 Eatwell Plate to the 2016 Eatwell Guide.

17 January 2017

This new article published in Solutions, whose authorship includes several FCRN members, briefly outlines current food system issues. The work is based on discussions in the session ‘Sustainable nutrient management in the Anthropocene’ at the IARU Sustainability Science Congress 2014.

Photo credit: Policy exchange, Flickr, Creative Commons License 2.0
10 January 2017

As Britain is preparing for the task of disentangling its laws from those of the European Union, a first light has been shown on potential future agricultural policies after Brexit. Andrea Leadsom, the new Conservative environment secretary, has stated that many EU laws and regulation in this area will be scrapped, allowing for a ‘Year Zero’ approach to regulation of the agricultural sector after Brexit.

19 December 2016

In light of the talks about the post-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Euractiv has begun a special series of articles about agriculture in Europe. 

29 November 2016

While regulation aimed at improving food products has traditionally focused on decreasing unhealthy ingredients such as salt or sugar, a new move to aid food producers to include healthy ingredients is on the way. At a recent workshop organised by Euractiv it was discussed how the addition of, say, protein or fibre in processed food could be policy goal as well.

29 November 2016

David Baldock, a Senior Fellow and former Executive Director of IEEP, gave a Food Thinkers talk at an event organised by the Food Research Collaboration, entitled: "Horses and Carts: can policies in a post Brexit world harness farming to more sustainable diets?"

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