Knowledge for better food systems

Defra Green Food project: about the project, and comments sought

Through its commitments in the Natural Environment White Paper (NEWP), the UK government has made a commitment to identify how the UK can increase food production in ways that improve the environment. Defra is doing this through the Green Food Project, an initiative that involves stakeholders from the farming and food sectors, the service industry and the environmental sector.

The project will look at how the UK can:

  • improve growth & competitiveness in the farming and food industry
  • increase food production in the UK, and consider its role in global food security
  • protect and enhance the natural environment

Ministers have committed to publishing conclusions from this work by June 2012.

To feed into the project, Defra has launched an online discussion forum, structured around 7 issues.

  1. The food system and challenges we’ll face in the next 30 – 40 years
  2. Innovation & technology and examples of science and innovation practice
  3. Skills and the need for entrepreneurial new entrants in the agriculture, food and environment sectors going forward
  4. Land-use and how we can manage land to achieve all of our objective in the future
  5. Diet & consumption and how we can encourage people to eat a balanced, sustainable diet
  6. Waste and how we can tackle waste across the food chain
  7. England’s strengths in food production and environmental protection, and what potential we have to develop these in the future.

Defra will draw upon the views in shaping the conclusions of the project, so it is an opportunity for people to influence future agriculture, food and environment policy. A few additional details about the Green Food project can be found here.

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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