Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Consumer stage

Consumer preferences, demands, needs and ultimately consumption patterns influence global and local patterns of agricultural production and affect all other stages of the food chain. However the consumption practice of individuals is itself shaped by a huge host of influences including national and international regulations and legislation, market prices and food’s affordability, food industry advertising and marketing, technological innovations, and societal norms, mores and taboos.

28 January 2014

The European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Round Table has launched a new protocol to help consumers make informed choices about their food and drink. It also aims to provide operators along the food chain with scientifically reliable and consistent environmental product information. The ENVIFOOD Protocol provides guidance for assessing the environmental impact of food, feed and drink products throughout their full lifecycles. The European Food SCP Round Table, aside from producing the ENVIFOOD Protocol, has also identified tools for communicating environmental performance, and mapped environmental challenges and good practices along the food chain.

28 January 2014

The Good Enough to Eat Index highlights some of the areas of critical concern for many countries when it comes to making sure that people can eat well, and indicates some important failings of the global food system that must be addressed. The index is an interactive snapshot of 125 countries showing the best and worst places in the world to eat, and the challenges people face getting enough of the right food. It was constructed to illustrate how overconsumption, misuse of resources and waste are common elements of a system where one in eight people suffer from hunger, while there is enough food to feed the global population.

28 January 2014

This report from the Swedish WWF's Ecological footprint unit provides a mapping of current scenarios, ongoing work and a compilation of knowledge on sustainable production and consumption of food.

19 December 2013

In this post on the Defra Sustainable development Scene, Toby Pickard, Senior Sustainability Analyst at the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) in the UK, looks at shopper attitudes towards achieving a sustainable diet, the challenges surrounding this and the implications for the food and consumer goods industry.

19 December 2013

The UK’s Family Food report provides detailed statistics on food and drink purchases, expenditure and the derived nutrient content of those purchases from a large household survey covering the United Kingdom. It looks specifically at the domestic, household level.

Chapters include: purchases and expenditure, energy and nutrient intakes, geographic and demographic comparisons as well as a chapter on dietary trends.

12 December 2013

This study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), has an interesting approach to capturing changes in diets by country. It uses an ecological metric – trophic levels – to calculate different dietary patterns across different countries and to examine how these patterns - and their trophic levels – have changed over time (1961-2009).

5 December 2013

The Irish CONSENSUS research project on sustainable household consumption has launched a set of two-minute video animations on their research. CONSENSUS aims to advance understanding of the drivers shaping everyday household consumption practices and to identify policy, technology and educational interventions to facilitate sustainable living. We are highlighting three of their videos here.

21 November 2013

This review article, Population, development, and climate change: links and effects on human health, discusses the results from a University College London & Leverhulme Trust Population Footprints Symposium on the linkages between population, development, climate change and health. The review, published in The Lancet, shows that while population growth is an important factor, consumers rather than people per se, drive climate change, and therefore reducing consumption represents the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions. It says that family planning (when implemented with other social and economic improvements) is one of the most effective ways of managing increases in population growth and of delivering extensive health benefits in both high and low-income countries. However when it comes to addressing climate change, demographic trends with respect to ageing, urbanisation and consumption are more significant than total population numbers. The authors conclude that reducing consumption and creating sustainable lifestyles in rich countries represent the most effective way of reducing carbon emissions and ultimately delivering health benefits.

21 November 2013

This article published in the Lancet, argues that coordinated action at the political level, both nationally and internationally is required to meet the challenge of antibiotic resistance. If such global coordinated actions are not immediately taken the authors argue that we will see major setbacks, medically, socially, and economically. The article focuses on antibiotic resistance from a global perspective and identifies key areas where action is needed.

13 November 2013

This report updates WRAP’s 2007 report The Food We Waste which exposed the full scale of the food waste problem for the first time. It identifies how much food is wasted in UK homes, which foods are wasted most and why, and how much that waste costs. The WRAP research reveals a substantial reduction in the amount of household food and drink waste arising between 2007 and 2012, while also highlighting the scale of the opportunity remaining.

6 November 2013

This dissertation looks at the sustainability of the current food system and analyzes how environmental impacts could be reduced and health impacts could be increased through dietary change. The results from this work suggest that dietary change, in areas with unrestricted diets, could play an important role in reaching environmental and health goals, potentially reducing GHG emissions and land use requirements by up to 50%.

6 November 2013

This report from IGD highlights consumers' attitudes towards adopting a more environmentally sustainable and healthy diet. Some of the report's main findings are:

  • Shoppers are feeling more empowered about sustainable diets, but still require industry to take the lead in this area and to inspire them
  • Nearly half of shoppers say healthy options are important compared to one in five that consider ethical factors
6 November 2013

The UK-based Eating Better alliance has published the findings of a survey which finds that :

• 25% of the British public say they are eating less meat than a year ago

• 34% are willing to consider eating less meat

• One in six (17%) young people say they don’t eat any meat

Pages