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.

11 July 2012

Defra’s Green Food Project has published its report. This project was tasked to consider how production and consumption could change in the future, and whether/how it was possible to reconcile the goals of increasing production and improving the environment. 

2 July 2012

The report is the result of 2 years of collaborative research, representing a comprehensive review of the latest evidence on the relationships between cardiovascular health and what we eat or how active we are. It takes a close look at current European eating and physical activity patterns and proposes a series of policy actions.

31 May 2012

The UK’s Environmental Audit Committee has published its report on Sustainable Food.  Its member MPs conclude that “Government must develop a joined-up strategy to change the UK's unhealthy and environmentally damaging food system, as fears mount about global food security.”

21 May 2012

This article in the British Medical Journal argues that taxes on unhealthy foods could result in significant health gains. The article highlights a range of trials, studies and natural experiments (ie. observational studies) that examine the effect of price changes on behaviour. 

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

The International Food Policy Research Institute has launched its inaugural Global Food Policy Report, the first in a new annual series. The Report provides a comprehensive overview of major policy changes at the global, regional, national, and local levels, as well as their significance for food and nutrition security.

25 March 2012

This paper firstly considers the argument that intensification in the Brazililan livestock sector can help reduce land use change pressures (the ‘land sparing’ argument). It then uses an economic model-based analysis to make the point that intensification in the Brazilian livestock sector to increase productivity on a given area of land will only halt deforestation if it is accompanied by policies to alter the fact that extensifive cattle rearing is still marginally profitable.

9 March 2012

This article in the Copenhagen Post covers reactions to the Danish government’s proposal to tax sugar  in a manner similar to last year’s introduction of a saturated fat tax.

9 March 2012

This article in Science Daily is based on materials prepared by the French Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)  It argues that Brazil’s reliance on agricultural exports to drive economic growth is environmentally unsustainable and highlights the link between deforestation for cattle grazing, soy production on cleared land which pushes cattle further into the forest, and the sale of high-value timber.  The article states that government controls introduced from the year 2000 have scaled down deforestation from around 20,000 to 6,000 km² per year, but the threat of an increase in world demand is always just over the horizon, with implications for further deforestation.

29 February 2012

The Danish EPA has compiled guidance for policy-makers aiming to promote SCP in the food retailing sector. It states that  “Government has an important enabling role to play in using policy levers to support the development of a business case for manufacturers and retailers to produce and deliver more sustainable products. 

29 February 2012

PBL, the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, has published a new report arguing that the impact of the proposed greening measures of the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on the sustainable development of agriculture appears to be relatively small. 

29 February 2012

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.

15 December 2011

In the mailing on 6 December 2011 we quoted the Telegraph, who reports that “the French government has stated that that all students will have to eat meat if they want lunch at school.” 

6 December 2011

The Telegraph reports that the French government has stated that that all students will have to eat meat if they want lunch at school. Taking a packed lunch is not an alternative as they are also banned. The ban will shortly be extended to kindergartens, hospitals, prisons, colleges and old people's homes. French agriculture minister, Bruno Lemaire, said in January that the Government's aim for nutrition was to defend the French agricultural model and counter initiatives such as those by vegetarian campaigners like Sir Paul McCartney.

6 December 2011

The UK Government’s Carbon Plan was published in December 2011. It sets out how government’s proposals and policies for meeting the first four carbon budgets - legally binding limits on the amount of emissions that may be produced in successive five-year periods, beginning in 2008.

6 December 2011

This interesting paper by FCRN mailing list member John Ingram, makes the important (but often neglected) point that food security is not just an issue of production, but rather an outcome of multiple social, economic and environmental factors, operating at different scales.

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