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.

Image: Kevin Simmons, Calorie Count, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
15 May 2018

From 7 May 2018, chain restaurants in the US with 20 or more branches are required to include calorie counts on their menus. The rules are part of an Obama-era health care law.

15 May 2018

A report by WWF, The Rivers Trust and The Angling Trust finds that only 14% of rivers in England are classed as healthy, with damage being caused by poor farming and land management practices, for example by degraded soil being washed into watercourses and agricultural chemicals contaminating groundwater. The report sets out a strategy for managing both soil and water health, including stricter control of slurry storage, incentives for farmers to plant woodland or create wetland habitats and creating an advice service for farmers and land managers.

9 May 2018

This report from the Food Research Collaboration, by Gary McFarlane, Tony Lewis and Tim Lang, argues that the Brexit negotiations have neglected the importance of the transport of food into, out of and through Northern Ireland.

Image: Graham Hogg, Surplus to requirements, Geograph, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
9 May 2018

Fresh fruit and vegetables deliberately withdrawn from the market and destroyed under the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy accounted for 5.1 Mt CO2 eq. in embedded production-stage emissions between 1989 and 2015, according to research by FCRN member Stephen Porter of the University of Edinburgh.

Image: FreeUsePhotos, John Deere 6830, Flickr, Public domain
9 May 2018

This paper looks at how trade liberalisation could impact the effectiveness of climate mitigation policies for non-CO2 emissions in the EU agricultural sector. Three scenarios are modelled: free trade agreements (FTA) alone; an EU carbon tax; and the combination of both.

24 April 2018

The Nordic Food Policy Lab, which collects and curates Nordic food policy solutions responding to the UN Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals, has launched a new email newsletter, Frontiers of Food. The newsletter will contain the latest updates, thoughts and case studies on innovative food policy around the world.

24 April 2018

This book, edited by Fabien Girard and Christine Frison, shows how innovative legal frameworks could better support the need for diversity in crop varieties while maintaining incentives for agricultural innovation, with a particular focus on the concept of the commons.

Image: Martin Bjørnskov, Marbæk, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
23 April 2018

A new paper finds that a range of “ambitious but not unrealistic” climate mitigation options could, together, mean that using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is not necessary for staying within 1.5°C of warming. Mitigation options considered include limiting population, lower meat consumption and use of lab-grown meat, lifestyle changes such as lower car use, electrification of energy end-use sectors, high efficiency manufacturing, agricultural intensification and mitigation of non-CO2 greenhouse gases.

Image: SMC at English Wikipedia, Soft drinks on shelves in a Woolworths supermarket, Wikimedia Commons, Public domain
10 April 2018

A sugar tax came into force in the UK on 6 April. Soft drinks manufacturers will be levied 18p per litre of drink that contains more than 5 grams of sugar per 100ml. Unsweetened fruit juices and milk are exempt.

10 April 2018

This book, edited by Jérémie Forney, Chris Rosin and Hugh Campbell, examines the roles, motivations and interactions of the many different players in the governance of agri-food systems.

10 April 2018

This book, by agronomist and political scientist Marie-Hélène Schwoob, provides a multidisciplinary overview of China’s farming and food issues and presents the results of the author’s fieldwork.

Image: NRCS Soil Health, Touch healthy soil, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
26 March 2018

UK farmers may be given targets to reverse soil damage and restore soil health by 2030, as part of an agricultural bill to be brought before parliament later this year.

26 March 2018

This book by Parke Wilde gives updated information on food policy in the United States. The second edition includes more detail on food justice and economic methods.

Image: Aqua Mechanical, Tractor Fertilize Field Pesticide And Insecticide, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
26 March 2018

This article examines the toxicity of ‘adjuvants’ in pesticides. Commercial pesticide formulations contain the active ingredient and various other chemicals - adjuvants - such as surfactants, antifoaming agents, preservatives, solvents and dyes. Adjuvants are generally neglected by health risk assessments of pesticides in the United States and the European Union. This paper uses the examples of glyphosate and neonicotinoids to illustrate that adjuvants can result in pesticides being significantly more toxic than the active ingredient alone. The paper calls for changes in regulation.

12 March 2018

This book, by William H Meyers and Thomas Johnson, sets out the policies around food and farming of a selection of developed and developing countries. It is aimed at students, researchers, policymakers and professionals with an interest in economic development, agricultural markets and food systems.

12 March 2018

This book, edited by Christophe-Toussaint Soulard, Coline Perrin and Elodie Valette, examines the interactions between agriculture and cities, using case studies around the Mediterranean.

Image: Ruth Hartnup, Heirloom cherry tomatoes at Wholefoods, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
6 March 2018

Since 2016, French grocery stores have been banned from throwing away edible food. This story examines the effects of the new law. For example, donations to food banks have increased in quantity and quality.

26 February 2018

The second edition of this book by Michael Carolan includes up-to-date data on on the impacts of the global food system and gives examples of positive social change.

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