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: Alberto Cruz, Farms in Périgord, France, Flickr, Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication
20 February 2018

The French government has announced that half of all food procured by its public sector must be organic or locally produced by 2022. The media coverage does not offer a definition of ‘local’ food.

Image: Billy Hathorn, USDA Bldg., Washington, D.C. IMG 4787, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
20 February 2018

A former lobbyist for the Snack Food Association and the Corn Refiners Association (whose members make high-fructose corn syrup) has been granted a waiver of conflict of interest rules, enabling her to advise the US Department of Agriculture on dietary guidelines.

Image: torbakhopper, hula hoops galore : san francisco (2013), Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic
20 February 2018

A trial of a school anti-obesity programme in the West Midlands, UK, showed no improvements in body mass index, energy expenditure, body fat measurements or activity levels.

Image: ponce_photography, Pixabay, CC0 Creative Commons
20 February 2018

The Chilean government is using marketing restrictions, packaging regulations and labelling rules to tackle obesity. Three-quarters of adults in the country, and over half of 6-year-old children, are overweight or obese.

Image: imagesthai.com, chips-close-colors-crisps, Pexels, CC0 Creative Commons
20 February 2018

The European Public Health Alliance points to five areas where food, drink and agriculture policies in Europe are expected to develop in the coming year.

Image: Güldem Üstün, China (Beijing) Tasteful sea animals, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
13 February 2018

A National Geographic feature covers the ways in which China’s diet is changing and its food system is becoming more industrialised.

13 February 2018

This book, by Anita Tull, explores some of the challenges that food and cooking skills education faces.

13 February 2018

The China-UK Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Network (SAIN) has released an information sheet on the state of China’s agricultural sector in 2017.

Image: Soil Science, Aerial Photo of Center Pivot Irrigations Systems (2), Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
13 February 2018

This opinion piece by Peter Horton of the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures discusses the failures of the current food system and sets out some possible solutions to achieve sustainable food security for all.

Image: Annie Nguyen, Cupcakes, Flicker, Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic
13 February 2018

In this paper, the researchers evaluated the legal and administrative feasibility of enacting a US federal junk food tax to improve diets.

Image: US Department of Agriculture, k11662-1, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
6 February 2018

Tougher immigration laws, the rising cost of labour and cheap credit could encourage dairy farms to use more robots, according to this article in Bloomberg.

Image: Phillip Capper, Terminal 5, Heathrow, 23 April 2011, Flickr, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic
6 February 2018

In this paper, the researchers examine the British civil aviation and ruminant farming sectors to understand the barriers to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions through technological innovation.

1 February 2018

This report by researchers at Wageningen University considers current food policies and practices in the EU, as well as the potential for change in the future.

8 January 2018

This blog by Annabel de Frece and Rebecca Wells talks about their work as teaching Fellows for the Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL) Programme. IFSTAL aims to improve food systems teaching across universities in the UK. In the blog, the authors relate some of the rationale behind the teaching methods.

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Photo: NP Himachal Pradesh 68, CIAT, Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
8 January 2018

This article by researchers at the International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC examines four pervasive myths about women in agriculture: 1) 70% of the world’s poor are women; 2) Women produce 60 to 80% of the world’s food; 3) Women own 1% of the world’s land; and 4) Women are better stewards of the environment. For each myth, the authors examine the relevant literature to evaluate any truth behind it and to identify its underpinning assumptions and fallacies.

12 December 2017

The Food Law and Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School, partnering with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, has released an update to the toolkit Good Laws, Good Food: Putting Local Food Policy to Work for Our Communities. The toolkit is intended as a guide for advocates who seek to influence food law and policy in their local communities in the US.

12 December 2017

This Research Handbook, edited by Mary Jane Angelo, Fredric G. Levin and Anél Du Plessis, brings together scholars from across disciplines and across the globe (including FCRN member Jonathan Verschuuren) to untangle the climate-food web and critically explore the nexus between climate change, agriculture and law, upon which food security and climate resilient development depends. It is a useful introduction to the research which is being undertaken in the area of climate change and agricultural law.

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