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.

15 January 2013

A new online think tank known as Food Tank has been launched to highlight healthy, sustainable choices available for cultivating and consuming food.

18 December 2012

This new book addresses how the collective pooling and management of shared plant genetic resources for food and agriculture can be supported through laws regulating access to genetic resources and the sharing of benefits arising from their use. 

18 December 2012

In this systematic review published in the journal PLOS Medicine, researchers investigated the association between food pricing strategies and food consumption and non-communicable diseases by analyzing the results of published mathematical modeling studies of food pricing interventions.

26 November 2012

Russian authorities are considering a proposal put forward by the National Union of Consumers’ Rights Protection, which would tax high-fat products, as well as the use of antibiotics in meat production. The tax rate proposed is 10-20% for meat and dairy products with high cholesterol content. Russian authorities have reacted favourably to the proposed initiative, but there is fear that immediate adoption of the initiative could push meat prices to unpredictable levels, driving some manufacturers out of business.

26 November 2012

The journal Ecological Economics has devoted an issue to the concept of degrowth. Degrowth is a political, economic, and social movement based on ecological economics, anti-consumerist, and anti-capitalist ideas. Degrowth thinkers and activists advocate for the downscaling of production and consumption, arguing thatoverconsumption lies at the root of long-term environmental issues and social inequalities.

26 November 2012

Euractiv.com has posted an article detailing how some EU national governments and lawmakers are pushing to weaken green farming proposals in the next Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). With the economic crisis still lingering, there is more focus on boosting farm production to create jobs, and to address concerns about tighter food supplies and higher prices driven by worldwide droughts.

19 November 2012

This policy note by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) calls for governments to prioritize policies and actions and invest substantially in efforts to address the needs of their malnourished populations. Despite the importance of adequate nutrition for economic and social development, few countries have given nutrition issues high priority in national policy-making processes and resultant policies. This policy note reviews individual developing countries’ nutrition policies, highlights examples of countries that have successfully included nutrition in their development agendas, and concludes by outlining the rationale for making malnutrition reduction a policy priority, together with policy recommendations. 

19 November 2012

This study by CE DELFT, a Dutch independent research and consultancy  organisation , examines how food consumption patterns might be influenced in order to reduce food related GHG emissions. Its stated objective is to identify and  analyse  policy options which offer potential for achieving this goal.

19 November 2012

The Danish government has officially ended its tax on saturated fat just a year after it was introduced, and has cancelled a proposed sugar tax.

19 November 2012

New duties on foods known to be unhealthy should be part of a package of public health policies to tackle overweight and obesity and other diet-related diseases, according to the National Heart Forum (NHF).

12 November 2012

The UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) recently released a statement saying that by the end of 2015 all palm oil used in central Government food and catering services will come from environmentally friendly sources. However, Defra’s statement has come under fire from groups such as WWF-UK and the British Retail Consortium (BRC), who say the agreement is too weak and requires participation by other sectors to have a substantial impact.

2 November 2012

Dr. Jasper Knight, Wits University (South Africa), and Dr. Stephan Harrison, University of Exeter (UK) argue that governments and institutions should focus on developing adaptation policies to address and mitigate the impact of global warming, rather than putting emphasis on carbon cap-and-trade schemes. Their arguments are presented in a paper published in the journal Nature Climate Change entitled “The impact of climate change on terrestrial Earth surface systems.”

2 November 2012

In our 24th September Newsletter, we mentioned that the EU is considering plans to limit crop-based biofuels to 5% of transport fuel. Biofuels have been promoted in recent years, largely because of the belief that they will help reduce transport’s impact on the environment, and particularly because of its contribution to climate change. But the indirect effects of growing crops to make fuel have seriously challenged these assumptions.  

2 November 2012

José Graziano da Silva, the FAO's director general, has compared the land grab deals in Africa to the “wild west,” saying a "sheriff" is needed to restore the rule of law. Large land deals have accelerated since the surge in food prices in 2007-08, prompting companies and sovereign wealth funds to take steps to guarantee food supplies. 

2 November 2012

The Carbon Disclosure Project released its FTSE 350 Climate Change Report 2012, entitled The Future of Reporting, which provides an annual update on greenhouse gas emissions data and climate change strategies at the UK’s largest public corporations.

25 October 2012

This guide, produced by IGD, is designed to help businesses understand what they can do to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and communicates it in a way that will provide the business case for investment in greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction initiatives. 

25 October 2012

Defra has published the results of a study which looked at the environmental impact of consuming foods that are produced locally in season. One of Defra’s current high level environmental behaviour goals is for consumers to eat more food that is locally in season.

14 October 2012

Australia managed to pass a national carbon pricing scheme into legislation, which came into effect in July of this year. The “Clean Energy Plan” involves a temporary CO2-equivalent tax for three years, followed by an emissions trading scheme aimed at producing strong growth and low pollution.

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