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This special edition of ‘Duurzaam Bedrijfsleven’ (in Dutch) is dedicated to food issues.
This report by the European Public Health Association (EUPHA) presents both evidence and recommendations for European policy development on sustainable healthy diets. Starting with an overview of the health and environmental consequences of dietary habits this report moves on to present an analysis of individual and societal costs and benefits of implementing sustainable healthy diets, and a list of the European actors and institutions working on this issue. It also looks at evidence of progress from different European countries (FBDG Food Based Dietary Guidelines, Labeling, fiscal policy, procurement and other EU regional level initiatives).
A group of investors, worth $1.25 trillion, has contributed to a report calling for food companies to change the way in which they include protein in their products to reduce environmental risk. The FAIRR initiative’s report – The Future of Food: The Investment Case for a Protein Shake Up – argues that forward-looking investors and businesses should act now to help shape a new market in sustainable protein, with less of this macronutrient coming from animals, and more from plants (and perhaps from insects and algae).
This blog post by Public Health England highlights the the UK food and agriculture industry’s contribution to global climate change and environmental degradation, and the steps the Government is taking or has taken in light of this.
This report by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee focuses on food security. The report makes recommendations for managing consumer demand, such as by encouraging the purchase of sustainably sourced products or the most nutritious food in order to help deliver environmental and health goals. It does not argue that there should be any further degree of compulsion on individuals.
The Sustainable Seafood Coalition (SSC) has launched a new 'labelling code', intended to ensure that consumers are sure about what environmental claims on fish and seafood mean. A new 'sourcing code' accompanies the labelling and ensures that the coalition members source their fish and seafood products responsibly.
This new report from the from China-based FORHEAD Working Group on Food Safety/SSRC discuss food safety issues in China. The report examines what is known from the natural, medical and social sciences about food safety in China and about policy and public responses. It aims to provide the basis for more effective use of existing knowledge and to inform a more integrated and problem-oriented research agenda.
The aim of the THE SMART FOOD GRID project is to improve the efficiency of local food distribution within Amsterdam. The project grew out of research which analysed the flow of local food in and around the city. This found that while there was a great amount of fresh and processed food being brought into the city, a link was not being made between this food and the general urban public. SMARTGRID therefore aims to link producers with consumers through the use of a smart-phone. Users can scan a QR code on a banner, order local products and get them delivered through sustainable transport modes to their house, office or other location.
CONSENSUS has been awarded funding by the Irish EPA to further its innovative research on sustainable consumption. CONSENSUS is the first large-scale, all-island research project on sustainable consumption in Irish households. The research will involve In-Home Living Labs which mean that households will be testing novel solutions for more sustainable food practices around food purchasing, cooking, waste management and washing. For example, householders will experiment with new-to-market composting tools, smart food apps, and grow-your-own kits. Researchers will also conduct ethnographic research to evaluate how these interventions affect food practices, advancing knowledge on practice-oriented approaches to behaviour change and identifying R&D, policy and educational initiatives.
There has been an increase in the number of people requiring ‘food aid’ in the UK. Food aid includes a range of initiatives which provide food to people in need, including food banks, meal projects, soups runs, food vouchers and community care projects such as meals on wheels. Policy makers, along with the media and the wider public, are now engaging with some of the questions such initiatives raise.
A new joint report by World Bank, FAO and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) entitled "Fish to 2030: Prospects for Fisheries and Aquaculture” looks at prospects for fisheries and aquaculture and suggests that aquaculture will provide close to two thirds of global food fish consumption by 2030. It highlights the continuing role of China as a major driver of aquaculture demand, and charts the decline in the relative importance of capture fisheries.
The European Food Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) Round Table has launched a new protocol to help consumers make informed choices about their food and drink. It also aims to provide operators along the food chain with scientifically reliable and consistent environmental product information. The ENVIFOOD Protocol provides guidance for assessing the environmental impact of food, feed and drink products throughout their full lifecycles. The European Food SCP Round Table, aside from producing the ENVIFOOD Protocol, has also identified tools for communicating environmental performance, and mapped environmental challenges and good practices along the food chain.
The UK-based Eating Better alliance has published the findings of a survey which finds that :
• 25% of the British public say they are eating less meat than a year ago
• 34% are willing to consider eating less meat
• One in six (17%) young people say they don’t eat any meat