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.

24 April 2019

According to the BMJ (British Medical Journal), the World Health Organisation pulled out of sponsoring a launch event for the EAT-Lancet report on healthy and sustainable diets after Gian Lorenzo Cornado, Italy’s ambassador to the United Nations, questioned the health and economic impacts of the report’s largely plant-based diet recommendations.

24 April 2019

This report from the Scottish Human Rights Commission (an independent public body) to the Scottish Government argues that people should have a legal right to food, and that public authorities should solve inequalities in access to adequate food.

Image: Max Pixel, Produce Grocery Farm, CC0 Public Domain
24 April 2019

FCRN members Verena Seufert and Adrian Müller have contributed to this commentary, which outlines a set of policy measures for changing agricultural practices to be in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. The proposed policy measures include supporting organic agriculture.

16 April 2019

FCRN member Samuel Smith of international sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future has contributed to this report, which sets out the case for organisations to act on the sustainability of all the fats and oils in their supply chains, including but not limited to palm oil.

Image: Alasdair MacDonald, Wet peat land, Geograph, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
8 April 2019

Schools strike climate activist Greta Thunberg, along with several scientists, authors and campaigners, has called for “natural climate solutions” to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss simultaneously.

Image: Jing, Soybeans Beans Soy, Pixabay, Pixabay Licence
8 April 2019

This commentary argues that the recent imposition of trade tariffs between China and the United States could lead to increased tropical deforestation as other suppliers make up for the 50% fall in exports of soybeans from the US to China seen during 2018.

Image: Libreshot, Milk is poured into a glass, Public domain
1 April 2019

This feature in the UK’s Guardian newspaper examines the environmental implications of China’s promotion of milk consumption. Dairy consumption in China has grown from very little to around 30 kg per year within the last few decades, and government guidelines recommend that people triple their current dairy consumption.

1 April 2019

This open access book by Prabhu Pingali, Anaka Aiyar, Mathew Abraham and Andaleeb Rahman uses a food systems lens to explore issues of food security in India and to set policy goals for 2030 and 2050.

26 March 2019

In this blog post for the UK Food Research Collaboration, researchers Tony Lewis and Erik Millstone note that the UK’s draft replacement regulations for governing food after the UK leaves the European Union (EU) allow the government to relax requirements on food traceability. The authors argue that the government may be preparing to accept lower food standards to minimise supply disruptions in the event of leaving the EU without a withdrawal agreement.

26 March 2019

The Scottish Land Commission (a public body set up by the Scottish Government) reports that highly concentrated land ownership in some parts of Scotland hampers economic development and can be harmful to local communities.

20 March 2019

This book explores the economic, environmental and social aspects of the development of Brazil’s agricultural sector over time. Chapter topics include the role of public policies, innovation and research, family farming and land governance.

13 March 2019

This report from the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University traces the work done on agroecology by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and suggests how civil society, academics and other actors can encourage and strengthen this work.

13 March 2019

The UK Government has released a summary of the likely impacts on business and trade if the UK leaves the European Union without a withdrawal agreement on 29 March 2019 (i.e. a ‘no deal’ Brexit). Several items are relevant to the food system. See also the draft of temporary rates of customs duty on imports that will apply to different goods in the event of a no deal Brexit.

12 March 2019

In this latest instalment of the Food Brexit Briefings series by the UK’s Food Research Collaboration, the authors argue that the UK’s upcoming departure from the European Union presents an opportunity for Wales to reform its food and farming system, making use of both grassroots food initiatives and new legislation.

4 March 2019

This report, the latest in the Food Research Collaboration’s Food Brexit Briefing series, explores the policy options for governing sugar supply as the UK prepares to leave the European Union. The current supply of cheaper sugar has undermined public health, the report argues.

Image: marissat1330, Italy vineyard grapes, Pixabay, Pixabay licence
4 March 2019

Research literature, policy indicators, and assessment tools use many different variables to assess sustainable agricultural land systems in Europe (for example soil loss, landscape diversity and food quality). Out of 239 of these variables identified in this paper, 32 have been covered by all three perspectives (i.e. research, policy and practice) while the remainder have only been considered by one or two perspectives.

26 February 2019

This report from the UK think-tank Chatham House explores the challenges of scaling up production and consumption of realistic plant-based meat replacements and laboratory-grown meat, both of which are intended to be indistinguishable from meat.

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