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.

Credit: James Bowe, Apples by the road, Flickr, Creative Commons licence 2.0
28 September 2016

This editorial article focuses on an aspect of agricultural food loss and waste, not often considered: the effects that a reduction in food loss and waste at the production stage, might have on the species that have become reliant on food waste.

6 September 2016

This report from INNOCAT, a project set up to help encourage eco-innovation in the catering sector, showcases best practices from a group of cities working on procurement of food and catering services.  The report takes a close look at school catering since this represents a significant share of the procurement budget of many local governments.

6 September 2016

This paper presents a food sustainability assessment tool called FOODSCALE which contributes to the scientific evidence on the social, economic and environmental impacts of food provision in large-scale organizations, facilitating analysis and potentially subsequent action.

23 August 2016

The World Resources Institute (WRI) has formed a partnership with major companies including Google, Sainsbury’s, Hilton Worldwide and other leaders in the food industry aimed at finding ways to encourage consumers to buy more plant-based foods.

8 July 2016

Global trends of population growth, rising living standards and the rapidly increasing urbanized world are increasing the demand on water, food and energy. Added to this is the growing threat of climate change which will have huge impacts on water and food availability.

8 July 2016

This report aims to understand whether, why and how sustainable diets are promoted by individual foodservice companies, and to assess the business cases for adopting and promoting sustainable diets across the sector.

(Photo credit: Food Science and Nutrition journal)
9 June 2016

This article discusses the interplay of food requirements, food waste, food deficits, and associated GHG emissions. It estimates the agricultural GHG emissions associated with food waste, argues the importance of reducing food waste as a contribution to addressing GHG emissions and proposes a standardized method for estimating food waste for all countries.

9 November 2015

In this article in The Conversation Tim Lang discusses two recent reports that have been published discussing food poverty and food banks in Britain.

3 September 2015

This paper reviewed data from six national studies to quantify food waste within the EU and its associated loss of water and nitrogen resources in the EU as well as the uncertainties of these values.

3 September 2015

This study is the first to quantify the relationship between human population growth and energy use on an international scale. It explains how global population growth has begun, in the past 50 years, to catch up with energy consumption for the first time in 500 years.  Until that point, each generation had produced more energy per person than its predecessor, which allowed for an increase in Earth's carrying capacity and in the number of people it could sustain at equilibrium.

18 June 2015

This report summarises food waste research conducted by the Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI), University of Manchester, and its implications for a transition towards a sustainable food system.

18 June 2015

This joint survey by the Food Standards Agency, Foodsafe and the Consumer Council in Northern Ireland finds that low ­income families need to spend at least one third of their weekly income on food if they want to eat healthily.  This percentage was the result when consumers were asked to select a realistic, healthy food basket that met the family’s taste requirements and included some special food items for visitors and social occasions.

18 June 2015

Germany has traditionally been a country with high meat consumption per capita, but a new study shows that young Germans are increasingly turning to vegetarian diets. The study market analyst company Mintel followed 1,000 people aged over 16 and their results show that nearly one in five (18%) Germans aged between 16 and 24 purchase meat-alternative products. This is comparable to the one in ten (11%) doing the same across all age groups.  A major challenge for this trend to consolidate however, is that only 14% of Germans say that they enjoy the taste of these products.

12 June 2015

A new consortium has been created with the aim of mapping out the influence of consumer behaviour and producer choices on the nutritional adequacy and sustainability of dietary patterns.

12 June 2015

This Bloomberg article describes how as a percentage of all new milk products on the market in 2014, non-dairy milk products made up 24% and 31% in European and North American respectively. In addition to oat, soy and almond milk, scientists have also developed alternatives based on from hemp and quinoa. The article focuses on the case of a Swedish Oat-milk producing company Oatly – a company that has seen sales grow significantly with revenue increasing with 37 percent this year. It describes how “(t)he expanding range of options has helped broaden the appeal of products such as Oatly beyond vegetarians, vegans, and the lactose intolerant”.

12 June 2015

This report is produced as follow-on work to the Green Food Project, which focused on sustainable consumption and production. The Green Food Project report in July 2012 concluded that follow-on work was required to enable a broader and more sophisticated debate around the roles that diet and consumption play in the sustainability of the whole food system.

19 April 2015

This publication provides information on using price policies to promote healthy diets and explores policy developments from around the WHO European Region. It examines the economic theory underpinning the use of subsidies and taxation and explores the available evidence.

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