Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Food chain stage

The food chain describes the physical flow of goods from agriculture through processing and distribution, to retailing to eventual consumption and waste disposal. The papers and reports in this category highlight the different issues and impacts associated with each particular stage of the food chain.

19 June 2012

A new 'Farm Platform' has been launched at Rothamsted Research North Wyke in Devon, aims to help farmers to optimise productivity in ways that are sustainable, whilst at the same time understanding the impact of farming methods on the environment. 

19 June 2012

WRAP, the Waste Resources Action Programme has published the findings of its Retailer Survey 2012, , which looks at the progress the food industry has made in reducing the amount of food that consumers waste.

The 2012 survey looked at 12,000 products across 20 different categories where food waste has traditionally been high, including bread, bacon, chicken, apples, carrots, potatoes, bagged salad, rice, pasta, yoghurt, eggs, cheese and milk.

The survey’s findings included:

19 June 2012

According to the market reseach company Key Note, the market for vegetarian foods in the UK reached a value of £786.5m in the year ending January 2011, up 7.7% from £730.4m in the year ending January 2007. 

19 June 2012

The EU food and drink industry has published its vision for 2030, setting out its commitments for the next two decades.  As far as I can see there are no tangible targets as regards emission reduction and so forth. What it says instead is as follows:

19 June 2012

This is a very interesting paper that reviews the literature on the relationship between consumption and GHG  emissions, between population and emissions, and the interactions among all three. It raises doubts that improvements in technology, or shifts in patterns of behaviour (consumption) will be sufficient in addressing GHG emissions unless combined with a greater focus on population growth (scale effects). 

19 June 2012

The Global Network of Science Academies (IAP) comprising the world’s 105 science academies, have issued a statement highlighting the relevance of population and consumption to the future of both developed and developing countries and reminds policy-makers preparing for Rio+20 of the need to consider a number of issues.

31 May 2012

The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation (PCF) has announced initial funding of £200,000 for a pioneering new project to help British farmers improve their productivity in an environmentally responsible way. The Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme will be delivered by the Soil Association, in partnership with Duchy Originals from Waitrose, The Prince of Wales’s organic food business.

31 May 2012

In the mailing on 15 May 2012 we highlighted this paper by Seufert et al, published in Nature, which compared yields in organic and conventional farm systems. The study elicited a great deal of media comment and in response the study’s authors have written this interesting piece which you can read here.

21 May 2012

The findings of this study are unlikely to surprise anyone – the research is based on experiments carried out in the US and the UK and finds that there is a strong connection in people’s minds between eating meat—especially muscle meat, like steak—and masculinity.

21 May 2012

This paper considers uncertainties in estimating global N2O emissions from agriculture and in projecting future emissions. As regards mitigation, it highlights the potential achievable through dietary change (away from meat and dairy consumption), and of food waste reductions.

21 May 2012

This report examines what part market governance mechanisms (regulatory, fiscal, voluntary and information-related) can or could play in addressing GHG emissions from the food system, focusing on the two extreme ends of the supply chain – the process of  agricultural production, and patterns of consumption.

21 May 2012

This report examines what part market governance mechanisms (regulatory, fiscal, voluntary and information-related) can or could play in addressing GHG emissions from the food system, focusing on the two extreme ends of the supply chain – the process of  agricultural production, and patterns of consumption.

15 May 2012

This World Health Organisation ppt provides an overview of the causes, trends and impacts of chronic diseases worldwide, and points out very strongly that it’s increasingly a problem affecting poor people in the developing world. You can download the presentation here.

15 May 2012

The UK agricultural industry has published its first report on progress made in delivering its Greenhouse Gas Action Plan.

15 May 2012

Two studies, one in Nature and the other in Science present evidence to demonstrate the importance of biodiversity in maintaining long term ecosystem productivity and sustainability.

15 May 2012

Another article that looks at organic versus conventional yields. It compares yields in both developed and developing world contexts and argues a. the case for a more nuanced approach to considering yield variations and b. for less dogmatism in the debate on sustainable agriculture.

9 May 2012

This pamphlet examines research undertaken by the Fabian Society which was  commissioned and supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. The work, through a series of focus groups, explored ways that people's sense of fairness around sustainable consumption and climate change could be used to build public support for behaviour change and sustainability policies.

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