Fodder: The FCRN Newsletter
We send out a weekly newsletter which provides an essential round-up of food sustainability-relevant publications, articles, jobs and events. Sign up to receive it here.
Help to build our video library: General overview of food systems challenges
As announced last week, we would appreciate your suggestions for high-quality, evidence-based videos on food sustainability to help build our Foodsource video library.
See which topics we are looking for here and let us know what you think of the proposed topic list. Are the topics too narrow or too broad? Could they be clustered differently?
This week we are particularly interested in videos that give a general overview of food systems challenges. To send video suggestions or simply offer your comments, email Despoina here.
Reminder: Animation of Grazed and Confused?
Speaking of videos, don’t forget to watch our animated summary of our Grazed and Confused? report about the relationship between ruminants and soil carbon sequestration. Our animation is available under a Creative Commons licence for re-use, so do feel free to use it in your presentations, lectures, etc.
Recent blog posts
We’ve released several blog posts in the past few weeks. Here’s a reminder of them:
- James Hand: Simple but not simplistic: can product badges encourage more sustainable consumption?
- Despoina Dadarou: Call for assistance: Help to build our Foodsource video library
- Johanna Jacobi: Soybeans, food insecurity and agroecology: multidisciplinary food sustainability in Bolivia
- Will Nicholson: Plating up progress? A collaborative project to define usable metrics for assessing food industry progress in delivering sustainable and healthy diets.
- Hannah van Zanten: A role for livestock in a sustainable food system
You can discuss these blog posts in the FCRN’s Google Group - all are welcome to join.
Reminder: The FCRN is hiring a part-time websites manager for our FCRN and Foodsource sites
View the job details here. The deadline for applications is 25 July 2018.
Journals and Journal Articles
This paper presents the results of a modelling exercise that aimed to identify low emissions pathways for a growing global livestock sector. This article uses 6 case studies, modelled in the Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model developed by FAO, to illustrate the climate change mitigation potential of livestock achievable through changes in feeding, breeding and husbandry as well as grazing management to increase soil carbon sequestration.
This paper provides a detailed analysis of ‘livestock ecosystems’ in different parts of the world and presents a high-resolution dataset of biomass use, production, feed efficiencies, and greenhouse gas emissions by global livestock. The research shows vast differences in animal diets and emissions, one example being that animals in low-income countries require far more food to produce a kilo of protein than animals in wealthy countries. The paper also shows that globally pork and poultry are being produced far more efficiently, defined in terms of feed conversion efficiency, than milk and beef, and greenhouse gas emissions vary widely depending on the animal involved and the quality of its diet.
A growing imbalance between phosphorus and nitrogen fertilizer use in Africa could lead to crop yield reductions of nearly 30% by 2050, according to a new study from researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).
This interesting paper calculates the a. nitrogen footprint and b. nitrogen investment factor associated with the average production of 12 agricultural commodities in the EU – 6 plant and 6 livestock products (excluding fish and aquatic products). The nitrogen footprint is defined as the total N losses to the atmosphere resulting from the production of a defined unit of food, while the N investment factor calculates the amount of N input needed to produce a specified amount of N in the food. Since N is the building block of protein, the latter is a useful way of looking at the issue, particularly when it comes to considering the relative merits of plant (eg. pulses and legumes) versus animal sources of protein.
This paper presents 12 principles for achieving both better and more food from mature perennial agroecosystems and seeks to contribute to the debate on sustainable intensification. It provides a model, or policy roadmap, for sustainably intensifying productive tropical and sub-tropical agriculture in ways that are both pro-poor and multifunctional – i.e. that enhance agriculture economically, socially and environmentally. The paper examines the role of perennial species, especially trees, in the helping improve staple crop yields; providing nutritious food; reducing poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation; improving rural livelihoods; and mitigating climate change.
This study is one of the very few that examines the GHG impacts of a selection of real life ‘self selected’ diets as opposed to those that are modelled or hypothetical. It looks specifically at the dietary patterns (based on a standard 2,000 kcal diet) of UK vegetarians, semi-vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Approximately 55,500 subjects were chosen for the study, all part of the EPIC-Oxford cohort study.
While insects have physiological and biological differences which make them more efficient than traditional livestock species, little information exists pertaining to the factors which influence the assessment of the environmental sustainability of insects and their subsequent production systems.
This study maps the food systems of three capital cities, providing insight for future food security on how population growth, climate change and political instability will affect the open market. The three capital cities examined (Tokyo, Canberra and Copenhagen) and their accompanying capital regions or territories were chosen because they have populations that range over two orders of magnitude, and are situated within different global, climatic and physical locations and socio-economic contexts. The analysis provided is intended to provide a better understanding of the effects of a globally coupled food system.
This paper, which looks at the impact of agricultural intensification on soils across Europe, suggests that differences in the intensity of land use significantly affects soil ecosystems and the services they provide. High intensity arable land use is found to a have lower diversity and biomass of soil organisms than lower intensity arable or permanent grassland, and that this affects the carbon and nitrogen cycles in the environment.
This paper provides a review of the current literature analysing environmental impacts of dietary recommendations. The review focuses on three aspects of dietary advice in particular: reducing the consumption of fat, reducing the consumption of meat-based protein and animal-based foods, and finally increasing the consumption of fruit and vegetables. It then reviews the environmental impact assessments and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) that have been undertaken in foods that have relevance to these three dietary recommendations.
This paper, by Phalan et al, provides a global overview of patterns of crop expansion in relation to conservation priorities in tropical countries. It seeks to address the following questions:
- Which crops cover most area in tropical countries and tropical biomes?
- In which tropical countries has most expansion occurred in recent years, and which crops were involved?
- How are remaining areas of cultivation potential distributed across tropical countries, particularly in relation to priority areas for biodiversity conservation?
This article examines the environmental impacts of the agri-food sector and different dietary patterns in Germany, focusing on the country's virtual land import, described as imports based on land competition and large scale foreign land acquisitions (sometimes referred to as land grabbing). The paper analyses different dietary and nutrition scenarios during the years1985-1989 and 2006 and shows how these affect virtual land imports and nutrition-induced land demand.
This research from Wageningen University focuses on biotechnology and cultured meat. The same technology that is starting to be used to create new organs from stem cells, could in principle be used to produce meat.
This paper provides new predictions of the global climate change mitigation potential of soil organic carbon sequestration on agricultural land. It asks whether soil carbon sequestration really does have a major role to play in mitigating agricultural GHGs and concludes that, given the many technical constraints, and the time limited nature of sequestration, its contribution is in fact likely to be minor. However, as the authors point out, there are other non-CO2 benefits that arise from building soil carbon, that are not considered in this study.
This article published in the Lancet, argues that coordinated action at the political level, both nationally and internationally is required to meet the challenge of antibiotic resistance. If such global coordinated actions are not immediately taken the authors argue that we will see major setbacks, medically, socially, and economically. The article focuses on antibiotic resistance from a global perspective and identifies key areas where action is needed.
Science's special issue on rethinking the global supply chain examines how traceability, measurement, and standardization might tame the unwieldy web that is our global supply chains.
This review article, Population, development, and climate change: links and effects on human health, discusses the results from a University College London & Leverhulme Trust Population Footprints Symposium on the linkages between population, development, climate change and health. The review, published in The Lancet, shows that while population growth is an important factor, consumers rather than people per se, drive climate change, and therefore reducing consumption represents the most effective way to reduce carbon emissions. It says that family planning (when implemented with other social and economic improvements) is one of the most effective ways of managing increases in population growth and of delivering extensive health benefits in both high and low-income countries. However when it comes to addressing climate change, demographic trends with respect to ageing, urbanisation and consumption are more significant than total population numbers. The authors conclude that reducing consumption and creating sustainable lifestyles in rich countries represent the most effective way of reducing carbon emissions and ultimately delivering health benefits.
A series of studies aiming at assessing and improving agricultural economic models have been published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and in a Special Issue of the journal Agricultural Economics. These represent the findings of a major international program “The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement project” (AgMIP) – an effort to produce improved integrated crop, climate and economic models. The AgMIP project links climate, crop, and economic modelling communities with cutting-edge information technology and aggregate crop model outputs as inputs to regional and global economic models. In doing so it is possible to determine regional vulnerabilities, changes in comparative advantage, price effects, and potential adaptation strategies in the agricultural sector.
This research argues that we need to implement a food waste hierarchy approach to preventing and managing food surplus and waste. It argues that a distinction between food surplus and waste is crucial as is the distinction between avoidable and unavoidable waste. Its main message is that food waste can be prevented by adopting a sustainable production and consumption approach and by tackling food surplus and waste throughout the global food supply chain.
This article forms part of the latest Food Nutrition Bulletin, and aims to identify and undertake a cross-sectoral analysis of the impacts of climate change on nutrition security. It also seeks to analyse the existing mechanisms, strategies, and policies to address these impacts. The article argues that key climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives should involve nutrition and health stakeholders and that climate-resilient sustainable development efforts in the UNFCCC work and in the post 2015 development agenda should integrate nutrition-sensitive actions.
The authors of this paper compare the impact of intensification in the beef and dairy sectors via two pathways; either intensification within a system (e.g. a mixed crop-livestock system) or through transitioning to another more productive system (from pasture to mixed crop-livestock production) and assesses the mitigation potential that could arise. It reviews the impacts of these forms of intensification on both GHG emissions, land occupation and land use change (LUC), the last of which has often been excluded in other similar analyses.
In this article, researchers consider the impacts of climate mitigation efforts on biodiversity and suggest that the negative consequences could in fact be equal to or exceed the direct effects of climate change on biodiversity. Looking specifically at one of the most likely human responses to curb climate change effects in agriculture - land use - the researchers analyse how changes in agricultural farming practices could impact conservation lands.
This study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), has an interesting approach to capturing changes in diets by country. It uses an ecological metric – trophic levels – to calculate different dietary patterns across different countries and to examine how these patterns - and their trophic levels – have changed over time (1961-2009).
This research article provides a new quantitative analysis of data on global feed use and feed use efficiency by livestock, in order to help shed light on livestock’s role in food security.
A study published in the journal Small Ruminant Research notes that many breeds of goat are at great risk of disappearing. A study from the Regional Service of Agro-Food Research and Development (SERIDA) analysed the global situation - the state of different breeds, the multiple implications of their conservation, their interaction with other animal species, and the consequences of goat grazing from an environmental viewpoint. The authors found that the biggest loss in the genetic resources of indigenous goats has been observed in Europe.
An international panel of scientists is calling for an evidence-driven debate over whether a widely used type of insecticide is to blame for declines in bees and other insect pollinators.
The paper is a systematic review of literature describing seven dietary interventions aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in overweight or obese children. It points out that in the context of the global obesity problem, dietary interventions can be used to promote healthy eating habits, but taking a narrow and restrictive focus can result in an increased preference for the restricted foods and be unlikely at achieving positive, long-term change.
A study by the University of Virginia and the Polytechnic University of Milan, and currently published in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides a global quantitative assessment of the water-grabbing phenomenon. The study shows that foreign land acquisition involves 62 “grabbed” countries and 41 “grabbers” and affects every continent except Antarctica.
This paper makes an important methodological contribution to the highly disputed debate about whether the net effect of agricultural intensification on biodiversity is positive or negative. What is already known is that there is clear relationship between increased agricultural intensification and decreased biodiversity on the land that has been intensified.
In this Nature Comment article, Elena Bennett of the McGill School of Environment and the Department of Natural Resource Sciences, Québec, argues against the underlying premise of the ‘land-sparing’ vs ‘land-sharing’ debate that has dominated the agriculture-environment discourse for decades, and advocates a new and more holistic approach that focuses on maximising human well-being.
A study in Psychological Science examined the effect certain communication strategies have on pressing social issues. The study found that public campaigns that call upon people to think and act interdependently (as opposed to independently) may be counterproductive for many Americans. The experiments demonstrated that a person’s way of thinking and motivation to act are deeply tied to the cultural frameworks that shape their social worlds, findings that have important implications for those working to promote social and behavioral change.
In this letter, over 100 researchers and practitioners argue that media coverage of the 2016 International Peat Congress (the first to be held in the tropics) was dangerously misleading in its assertions that peatland management under palm oil plantations was sustainable (see for example this news article by BorneoPost). They argue that such articles, by downplaying the issues imposed on peatland ecosystems by agriculture, undermine recent real and promising advances in tropical peatland management.
This new article published in Solutions, whose authorship includes several FCRN members, briefly outlines current food system issues. The work is based on discussions in the session ‘Sustainable nutrient management in the Anthropocene’ at the IARU Sustainability Science Congress 2014.
This systematic review examines the most common persuasive techniques used to promote junk food to children on television. The study shows that the approaches most frequently used are: free toys, gifts, discounts and competitions, promotional characters and celebrities, and appeals to taste and fun to promote junk food to children. These persuasive techniques were found to be used more often when promoting unhealthy food. The study authors argue that a ban on junk food advertising to children under 16 would be an important measure to fight child obesity. NB: the study looks at which persuasive techniques were most commonly used – it doesn’t assess which are the most effective.
This paper is the outcome of the Global Food Security Programme’s six-month project to identify priority research questions for the UK food system. It details the rationale, process and outcomes of Global Food Security project.
The identified priority research questions are aimed at improving the UK food system’s efficiency and effectiveness and complement other studies that have been framed from a more productionist viewpoint. The authors also try to adopt a wider understanding of “food security” – one that incorporates nutritional content, food safety, preferences and affordability in addition to availability of supply.
This short perspective in the journal Science reviews how the rise of urbanization is transforming food systems in many areas, and argues for further research on this topic.
The international research team behind this article calls for an increased climate policy focus on reducing ruminant meat consumption. They argue that climate negotiations thus far have paid too little attention to the role of livestock when discussing greenhouse gas mitigation. Methane from ruminants is the largest human-related source of the greenhouse gasses. As such, reducing ruminant populations is the most effective way to cut methane emissions and would also reduce CO2 emissions resulting from forest clearance for livestock farming. The livestock sector as a whole contributes around 14.5 % of all human-caused GHGs according to the latest FAO report) – a figure that includes overall GHG emissions, not just methane.
This paper addresses the following key question: How much land-based greenhouse gas mitigation can be achieved without compromising food security and environmental goals?
Taking the AFOLU sector (Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use), the paper starts by distinguishing and quantifying the range of options for action on the a. supply-side (improved management of biomass, soils, livestock, and energy use in agriculture and forestry) and b. the demand-side (reducing food waste, limiting over-consumption, and shifting to less resource-intense diets) before considering some of the trade offs and interactions among the different options.
An article in Insights, the magazine of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), explores the complex issues of increasing livestock production and consumption. As consumption is flattening in the developed world, over the next several decades demand for meat will continue to increase in the developing world. The article also explores the need for raising livestock sustainably in order to mitigate negative impacts on human health and the environment.
The Program for the Human Environment at the Rockefeller University has released a report suggesting that farmland useage might have peaked and the land required for agriculture will start to shrink. The authors predict that in the next half-century, a geographical area more than twice the size of France will return to its natural state from farmland. The Rockefeller researchers say factors such as slower population growth, declines in deforestation, and improved agricultural yields have spared the “unimaginable destruction of nature.”
A new study finds that Tanzania is one developing country that could actually benefit from climate change by increasing exports of corn to the U.S. and other nations. The study, published in the Review of Development Economics, shows that Tanzania has the potential to substantially increase its maize exports and take advantage of higher commodity prices with a variety of trading partners due to predicted dry and hot weather that could affect those countries' usual sources for the crop.
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.
GLOBE International, a group of international legislators, has released the GLOBE Climate Legislation Study, a review of climate change legislation in 33 countries.
In One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed the World?, Sir Gordon Conway explains the many interrelated issues critical to our global food supply from the science of agricultural advances to the politics of food security.
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.
A new book by John Webster, Professor Emeritus at the University of Bristol, seeks to identify and explain the causes and contributors to current problems in animal husbandry, especially those related to 'factory farming', and advance arguments that may contribute to its successful re-orientation.
This is taken from CCAF’S latest e-newsletter. CCAFS is the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, a partnership between the Consultative Group on International Agricultural CGIAR and the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP).
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.
The UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), in collaboration with the Glasgow University Media Group and Chatham House has released findings from a qualitative study of audience beliefs and behaviours in relation to climate change and energy security.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have launched the Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition Project.
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.
The latest issue of the journal Proceedings of the Nutrition Society features a number of articles related to food, nutrition, and sustainability (including one by the FCRN’s founder, Tara Garnett).
Organic Agriculture For Sustainable Livelihoods, edited by Niels Halberg and Adrian Muller, provides an analysis and assessment of the potential of organic agriculture for rural development and the improvement of livelihoods.
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have published a study in the journal Global Change Biology claiming that rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have a negative impact on the protein content of wheat grain and thus its nutritional quality.
Scientists at Technische Universität München (TUM) have come up with a new land development concept tailored to medium-sized farms in South America that sees farmers transitioning from large-scale monoculture to more diverse crop mixtures spread over smaller plots interspersed with wooded areas. Their study, published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, evaluated the economic viability of this model, based on a typical medium-sized agricultural holding, and found that although costs are higher in the beginning as a result of reforestation, the combination of woodland management and smaller plots of land pays off in the long term.
A new book entitled “Principles of Sustainable Aquaculture: Promoting Social, Economic and Environmental Resilience” by Stuart W. Bunting of the Centre for Environment and Society at the University of Essex serves as an advanced level textbook focusing on developing more sustainable aquaculture practices.
Oxfam have published a new report entitled ‘The Food Transformation’. This report, written by Brook Lyndhurst, examines the global food system and the social and environmental injustices inherent in it, and at the potential of consumer action to effect change.
A study conducted by researchers at McGill University, Canada, and published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, shows that changing diets have accounted for a 38% increase in the world’s per capita ‘phosphorous footprint’ between 1961 and 2007. Researchers analyzed annual country-specific diet composition data to calculate the amount of phosphorous applied to food crops. Their findings indicate that a sustainable supply of the essential mineral is in question.
This paper, published in Agriculture & Food Security, discusses the links between agriculture and climate change and considers how agriculture could contribute to global efforts to address both adaptation and mitigation.
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.
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.
The Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI) has produced the first complete world atlas of resource use - "Green economies around the world? Implications of resource use for development and the environment".
In many circles, it is taken as a matter of fact that to be able to feed an additional 2 billion people by 2050, farmers everywhere are going to have to adopt the intensive agricultural practices that have been perfected in the US heartland where massive amounts of corn and soybeans are harvested almost every year. For the most part, this production system also separates crop agriculture from livestock agriculture composed of large chicken complexes, huge hog production facilities, and massive feedlots.
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMECHE) has produced a report entitled “Global Food Waste Not, Want Not,” which highlights the challenge of feeding a growing population, in a world where up to 50% of food is wasted. The report looks at where food waste takes place, the need to produce more food with finite resources (land use, water, and energy), and provides recommendations as to what the engineering should do to yield greater productivity.
This book deals with three main food issues in Australia: equity and access to nutritious diets, food production and trade, and the relevance of land use planning for the long-term viability of food production, articularly around major Australian cities.
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.
We’re overusing the earth’s finite resources, and yet excessive consumption is failing to improve our lives. In Enough Is Enough, Rob Dietz and Dan O’Neill lay out an alternative to the perpetual pursuit of economic growth – an economy where the goal is enough, not more. They explore specific strategies to conserve natural resources, stabilize population, reduce inequality, fix the financial system, create jobs, and more – all with the aim of maximizing long-term well-being instead of short-term profits.
The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012 presents new estimates of undernourishment based on a revised and improved methodology. The new estimates show that progress in reducing hunger during the past 20 years has been better than previously believed, and that, given renewed efforts, it may be possible to reach the MDG hunger target at the global level by 2015. However, the number of people suffering from chronic undernourishment is still unacceptably high, and eradication of hunger remains a major global challenge.
FCRN member Dr. Adrian Muller co-authored a meta-analysis published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). The authors looked at datasets from 74 studies from pairwise comparisons of organic vs. nonorganic farming systems to identify differences in soil organic carbon (SOC).
Climate Counts is a non-profit organization that rates the world’s largest companies (by sales) on their actions to address climate change against a 22-criteria scoring methodology. Their Climate Counts scorecard offers consumers a tool for making informed purchasing and investing decisions based on how well major name brands are addressing climate change.
FCRN mailing list member Kurt Schmidinger has recently been awarded his thesis on the following subject: "Worldwide Alternatives to Animal Derived Foods – Overview and Evaluation Models", subtitle "Solutions to Global Problems caused by Livestock".
This paper, produced by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), explores the opportunities for climate change mitigation in the agricultural sector through the use of carbon markets. Carbon markets have not yet brought the technical potential for agricultural mitigation to fruition due to constraints on both the demand and supply side in terms of limited market opportunities and constraints to project implementation.
The journal Animal Frontiers is running a two-part series on livestock and food security. The first installment (second installment to run in July) covers a range of issues, including: the role of animal (including fish) production in food security in developing countries, trade in livestock products; the links between animal product consumption and chronic diseases; pastoralism; and livestock breeding.
A study published this week by Charles Benbrook of Washington State University finds that the use of herbicides in the production of three genetically modified herbicide-tolerant crops (cotton, soybeans, and corn) has actually increased over the last sixteen years. Benbrook writes that there is a strong correlation between the emergence and spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds and the upward trajectory in herbicide use.
We are particularly keen to hear your comments on these findings. How well do you think the study was designed? How do these findings compare to other studies in other regions of the world?
The 2012 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report—the seventh in an annual series prepared by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)—presents a multidimensional measure of global, regional, and national hunger.
A new book by Dr. Adam Corner, entitled Promoting Sustainable Behavior: A Practical Guide To What Works, explores individual and societal behaviors linked to climate change and offers recommendations on how to achieve a sustainable campaign that creates a lasting change in behaviour.
This article, published in Global Change Biology, examines the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the EU27 livestock sector for the year 2007 utilizing a life cycle assessment, which examines every step and input during the creation of a product to calculate total GHG emissions. They also examined the GHG emissions from livestock production, consumption of imported livestock products and wastage.
The UK consumer group Which? has released a report, “A taste for change,” which questions the effectiveness of voluntary industry-led initiatives such as the Responsibility Deal.
There’s an interesting article in The Guardian about Sam Dryden, head of agriculture at the Gates Foundation.
The journal Oxford Review of Economic Policy features a number of articles devoted to the topic of biodiversity policy and economics in its Spring 2012 edition.
A perspective paper published by Environmental Research Letters revisits the 2004 study by Pacala and Socolow that deployed seven wedges of different existing energy technologies to address climate change. At the time of that paper’s publication, each wedge would avoid one billion tons of carbon (1 GtC) emissions per year after 50 years. In this new perspective paper, its authors show that as a result of increased emissions, merely achieving what was considered "business-as-usual" in 2004 would require the development and deployment of 12 wedges; stabilizing emissions at current levels would require another 9 wedges; decreasing emissions to the level needed to prevent climate change would need an additional 10 wedges. Altogether, 31 wedges would be required to stabilize the Earth's climate.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) latest Agricultural Policy: Monitoring and Evaluation 2012 report revealed that government support fell to 19% of total farm receipts in 2011, with support to producers standing at just $252bn (€182bn). The recent decline in producer support was in many countries driven by developments on international markets, rather than by explicit policy changes. However, the report explains that there remain large differences in support levels among countries.
The Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (RELU) has published a policy brief that investigates the relationship between farming practice and sustainability at landscape scales. The vital role played by biodiversity in providing services that support life on Earth has become clearer in recent years, requiring increased care to maintain them. There are strong debates, however, about how to achieve a balance between increased and more sustainable production. One aspect of the debate suggests that this could best be achieved by some areas specialising in intensive farming, while other areas are managed for wildlife, rather than aiming to farm entire landscapes in a wildlife-friendly manner. This is sometimes known as the “land sparing versus land sharing debate.”
The paper notes that thinking at the landscape scale is key to understanding the environmental costs/benefits of a farm, because:
• A farm is part of a larger landscape and its environmental impact depends partly on the bio-physical environment and the way neighbourhood farms are managed.
• The environmental context is created by different habitats, topologies, soils and climate, making different places ecologically and environmentally different.
• Neighbourhood effects arise as different species of wildlife may move across many farms during their lives, or may move from farmed land to non-farmed land nearby at different stages of their life cycles.
• Some landscapes may be more naturally biodiverse than others, or be better suited to intensive production.
While the paper focuses on the UK context, the general issues it explores are relevant to other contexts and at wider scales. The full paper can be found here.
Researchers at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) and the University of Leeds have published a new working paper in the NRI series on sustainable standards entitled “A Review of the Literature and Knowledge of Standards and Certification Systems in Agricultural Production and Farming Systems.” The paper outlines the rise of private standards in agriculture and explores their social, economic and environmental impacts.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has released a report entitled the Low Carbon Economy Index, which analyses the amount of carbon emitted per unit of GDP. It concludes that for a 50 % chance of limiting temperature rise to 2˚C, carbon intensity needs to fall by more than 5 % per year every year until 2050.
A lifecycle assessment study, carried out by PE International, measured the greenhouse gas emissions emitted from the production of a number of dairy products in Australia to identify the industry’s overall carbon footprint. An industry cross section of primary data has been analysed from 140 farms across Australia.
The latest OECD-FAO Agricultural outlook report has been published. It finds that while international agricultural commodity markets appear to have entered calmer conditions after record highs last year, food commodity prices are anticipated to remain on a higher plateau over the next decade, underpinned by firm demand but a slowing growth in global production.
Scientists from the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and University of California, Berkeley have demonstrated that plants and soils could release large amounts of carbon dioxide as global climate warms. This finding contrasts with the expectation that plants and soils will absorb carbon dioxide and is important because that additional carbon release from land surface could be a potent positive feedback that exacerbates climate warming.
A new study from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Future Forests shows that mixed forests, in comparison with monocultures, have positive effects on several different areas, including production. The study, which was published in the journal Nature Communications, is based on material from the Swedish National Forest Inventory and the Swedish Forest Soil Inventory and examined the relationships between multiple ecosystem services and both tree species richness and tree biomass in boreal and temperate forest. By examining the role played by the occurrence of diverse tree species for six different ecosystem services (tree growth, carbon storage, berry production, food for wildlife, occurrence of dead wood, and biological diversity), the study demonstrates that all six services were positively related to the number of tree species.
In its first “UN-REDD Report”, the Programme explores the linkage between deforestation and the agricultural sector and suggests ways forward for consolidating the global agendas of curbing climate change and ensuring food security for all.
The Cocoa Barometer 2012, a joint initiative of the VOICE Network (a coalition of NGOs), has produced a report that aims to provide an overview of current sustainability developments in the cocoa sector.
The Politics of Land and Food Scarcity, by Paolo De Castro, Felice Adinolfi, Fabian Capitanio, Salvatore Di Falco, and Angelo Di Mambro, provides an overview of the new global challenges connected with land, food supply, and agriculture.
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.
The FAO has published its latest State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture report. It finds that 2010, people consumed about 128 million tonnes of fish. In the last five decades, world fish food supply has outpaced global population growth, and today fish provides more than 4.3 billion people with about 15 percent of their intake of animal protein. Estimates for 2010 point to fish consumption reaching another new high of 18.6 kg per person.
This interesting blog on the Planet Earth Online website reports on a study from the University of Salford which conducted blind tastings for a range of fish species. Only 15% of British tasters were able to identify cod – even though this is apparently our favourite fish, and we are generally very reluctant to try anything else.
FCRN member David Freudberg, host of the National Public Radio series “Humankind,” has written a blog for The Huffington Post arguing that diet is rarely discussed as a way to mitigate climate change. He notes that the recommendations being made by climate scientists on how to lessen our carbon footprint are also the same as those being made by health experts – diets higher in fruits, vegetables, and grains, and lower in meat.
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.
The UK’s New Economics Foundation has written a report arguing that all fishing in Europe should cease for up to nine years to let stocks recover.
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture, and Food Security (CCAFS) has launched the “Big Facts” website, a set of 30 facts integrating research on topics that include food demand, agricultural emissions, climate impacts, adaptation, and mitigation.
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.
A new FAO-led partnership is looking to improve how the environmental impacts of the livestock industry are measured and assessed. FAO and governmental, private-sector, and nongovernmental partners will work together on a number of fronts to strengthen the science of environmental benchmarking of livestock supply chains.
A new book by Anders Wijkman and Johan Rockström argues that we are in deep denial about the magnitude of the global environmental challenges and resource constraints facing the world. The authors argue that regardless of whether governments respond to the economic crisis through additional stimulus packages or reduced government spending, environmental and resource constraints will remain.
Compassion in World Farming recently published a report entitled Nutritional Benefits Of Higher Welfare Animal Products, which compiled data from 76 studies based on the topic. A literature review was conducted in order to examine the evidence for a range of nutritional benefits of higher-welfare animal products.
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.
The Organization for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Environment Agency (EEA) have produced a brochure outlining a participatory-based scenario-building approach that is being used to help explore the complex and uncertain impacts stemming from climate change.
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.
A study regarding the efficiency of beetle larvae (mealworms) as a potential protein source was published in the journal PLOS ONE by researchers at the University of Wageningen in Netherlands. The researchers compared the environmental impact of meat production on a mealworm farm to traditional animal farms using three parameters: land usage, energy needs, and greenhouse gas emissions. From the start of the process to the point that the meat left the farm, they found that mealworms scored better than the other foods. Per unit of edible protein produced, mealworm farms required less land and similar amounts of energy.
The Bioenergy Strategy commits the UK Government to further work to investigate the merits of temporarily flexing or otherwise relaxing biofuels mandates at times of agricultural price pressures. The current paper presents work by Defra analysts to explore some of the potential implications of this idea.
The European Union is funding a project entitled PROteINSECT to investigate the efficacy and safety in using insect protein as a source of animal feed. The project will also investigate the potential for using insects for human consumption. Currently insect protein is only allowed in shellfish feed within the EU and forbidden for other animal feed or for human consumption.
A new World Bank report says that Africa’s farmers can potentially grow enough food to feed the continent and avert future food crises if countries remove cross-border restrictions on food trade within the region. The report goes onto say that Africa has enough fertile farm land, water, and favorable climates to feed itself, yet it is forced to import ever-larger amounts of food from outside the region to keep up with rising demands across the continent.
The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has released their annual flagship publication on the theme “Investing in agriculture for a better future”. The report says that farmers are the largest investors in developing country agriculture and argues, therefore, that farmers and their investment decisions must be central to any strategy aimed at improving agricultural investment. However, they need a favourable climate for agricultural investment based on economic incentives and an enabling environment.
This is a very interesting take on rural food security from CGIAR guest bloggers, Matthew Fielding, Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative and Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and Tom Gill, SEI.
The Courtauld Commitment is a voluntary “responsibility deal” aimed at improving resource efficiency and reducing the carbon and wider environmental impact of the grocery sector. This includes action to reduce food and packaging waste. Signatories to the deal include UK grocery retailers and manufacturers, and the initiative is led and coordinated by the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
The "Humankind" series on National Public Radio has produced a series of stories about the interrelatedness of the foods we eat and climate change.
Defra’s Green Food Project has published its report. This project was tasked to consider how production and consumption could change in the future, and whether/how it was possible to reconcile the goals of increasing production and improving the environment.
The most severe and extensive drought in at least 25 years is seriously affecting U.S. agriculture, with impacts on the crop and livestock sectors and with the potential to affect food prices at the retail level.
You may be interested in this study co-authored by FCRN network member Toni Meier on diets and environmental impacts, published in the Journal of Environmental Science & Technology.
What is public health? To some, it is about drains, water, food and housing, all requiring engineering and expert management. To others, it is the State using medicine or health education and tackling unhealthy lifestyles. This book argues that public health thinking needs an overhaul, a return to and modernisation around ecological principles.
Continuing with this theme, EurActiv.com posted an article, “EU’s food imports pose ‘tricky balance’ for hungry Africans,” which discusses the difficulty of creating economic development and food security throughout Africa. A drought that hit East Africa in 2011 exposed this difficulty as European markets had plentiful supplies of African agricultural exports. In fact, the EU imports 40% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural exports.
A report by Low Carbon Oxford and LandShare entitled “Foodprinting Oxford” calculates the resources and risks involved with Oxford’s food supply, and explores how best to make the city’s food system more reliable. As part of LandShare’s “How to feed a city” programme, the report aims to help people understand where their food is coming from and how to make it more secure.
The FoodPrinting Oxford project takes a systematic look at two aspects of the city’s food system:
The Hershey Company recently announced it will source 100 percent certified cocoa for its global chocolate product lines by 2020 and accelerate its programs to help eliminate child labor in the cocoa regions of West Africa.
India’s Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation recently released the report Children in India 2012, which found that child malnutrition is so severe in India that 48% of children under five are stunted. Moreover, 19.8% of children in the same age group suffer from acute malnutrition, as evidenced by wasting.
The full report can be found here.
This paper reports on a systematic review of grocery store interventions undertaken to evaluate their effectiveness in changing food purchasing behaviours, and to examine whether this effectiveness varied with intervention components, setting, or socioeconomic status. This is the first paper to synthesise evidence from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in grocery stores across a wide range of intervention types.
FCRN member Dr Rosemary Green of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has published a paper that calculates the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water use associated with five dietary patterns in India. As shown below, GHG emissions per capita are highest for the “rice and meat” dietary pattern (at 1.2 tonnes CO2 eq. per year) and lowest for the “wheat, rice and oils” pattern (at 0.8 tonnes CO2 eq. per year). For comparison, per capita dietary GHG emissions in the UK have been estimated at 2.6 tonnes CO2 eq. per year for high meat eaters and 1.1 tonnes CO2 eq. per year for vegans (Scarborough et al., 2014). Water use is highest for the “wheat, rice and oils” pattern and lowest for the “rice and low diversity” pattern.
Our thanks go to FCRN member Emma Garnett for bringing to our attention a recent paper that investigates how land use could change if consumption were to shift away from meat and towards seafood from aquaculture. Aquaculture systems frequently use feed that is made from land-based crops. The paper studied two aquaculture-heavy scenarios (one using only marine aquaculture, and one using the current ratio of marine to freshwater aquaculture) where all additional meat consumption in 2050 (compared to today) is replaced by aquaculture products. Compared to a business-as-usual scenario for 2050, the aquaculture scenarios use around one-fifth less land to produce feed crops, because of the relative efficiency of aquatic organisms (compared to land-based animals) in converting feed into food that can be eaten by humans.
Smallholders with farms under two hectares produce 28–31% of all crops and 30–34% of all food supply on 24% of the world’s agricultural land, according to a new paper. This contrasts with common claims that smallholders produce 70–80% of the world’s food. The paper also finds that, relative to larger farms, farms under two hectares have greater crop species diversity, allocate less of their crop outputs towards feed and processing and are important suppliers of fruit, pulses, roots and tubers.
A recent paper assesses the carbon implications of converting Indonesian rainforests to oil palm monocultures, rubber monocultures or rubber agroforestry systems (known as “jungle rubber”). It finds that carbon losses are greatest from oil palm plantations and lowest from jungle rubber systems, in all cases being mainly from loss of aboveground carbon stocks. The paper points out that, “Thorough assessments of land-use impacts on resources such as biodiversity, nutrients, and water must complement this synthesis on C but are still not available.”
The UK’s Eating Better alliance has published a survey of ready meals in the main UK supermarkets. The briefing reports that only 3% of the 1350 ready meals surveyed were entirely plant-based; vegetarian, plant-based and meat substitute meals altogether made up 14% of the meals surveyed; 77% of the meals contained meat; and 10% contained fish or seafood. Some retailers sell vegan and vegetarian ready meals at a higher price than other meals, most notably Tesco’s Wicked Kitchen vegan range, which is 67% more expensive than Tesco’s regular range. Nearly one third of meat-based meals did not specify the country of origin of the meat, while only three retailers included the meat in their own-brand ready meals under their farm animal welfare policies.
The UK’s Food Research Collaboration initiative has released a briefing paper on the differences in animal welfare standards between the UK and its likely post-Brexit trading partners, such as the fact that antibiotic use in cattle is nine to sixteen times higher in the US than the UK, by weight of cattle. The report points out that welfare standards risk being weakened to help obtain trade deals, and recommends several measures to protect animal welfare after Brexit, including farmer subsidies for higher welfare standards, mandatory labelling to help consumers choose better welfare standards, and using public procurement policies to promote higher welfare.
The UK’s Committee on Climate Change has released its 2018 Progress Report to Parliament on Reducing UK Emissions. Chapter 6 focuses on agriculture and land use, land-use change and forestry. The report finds the UK agricultural emissions were unchanged between 2008 and 2016. In 2017, half of farmers did not think it was important to consider emissions when making decisions about farming practices. The forestry sector’s ability to sequester carbon has levelled off due to the average age of trees increasing relative to the past. Chapter 6 makes only passing reference to demand-side measures for agricultural emissions reductions (see Figure 6.9).
This book, by Klaus Lorenz and Rattan Lal, discusses the present state of knowledge on soil carbon dynamics in different types of agricultural systems, including croplands, grasslands, wetlands and agroforestry systems. It also discusses bioenergy and biochar.
The US divisions of Danone, Mars, Nestle and Unilever have established the new Sustainable Food Policy Alliance, hoping to influence policymakers and regulators in five key areas: product transparency, nutrition, the environment, food safety and a positive workplace for food and agriculture workers. According to the Washington Post, the new alliance supports the reduction of salt in packaged foods and the introduction of “nutrition facts panels” to highlight sugar and calorie information (read more here).
The Centre for Ecoliteracy, a Californian non-profit, has produced a free interactive guide to understanding food and climate change, covering both how climate change affects the food system and how the food system contributes to climate change.
Irish social enterprise foodture has produced a podcast about food citizenship, featuring Anna Cura of the Food Ethics Council. Anna describes the concept of food citizenship as being a mindset where people to think about themselves as engaged citizens, not just consumers, when making food purchase choices.
The European Commission has announced funding for three major research projects designed to promote innovation in the meat and livestock sector. The funding will come from EU’s outgoing Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.
IGD has released this guide to help buyers and planners to prepare for scenarios of uncertain future food supplies. It tries to provide companies with help to identify risks, anticipate and prepare for possible disruptions to their supply routes and maintain deliveries to consumers. It includes information on 19 food security issues explained from a company viewpoint and recommendations on how to manage risk and keep down costs. The chapters focus on issues such as global consumption, food waste, food affordability, climate change, land use and soil degradation.
The SAI (Sustainable Agriculture Initiative) has launched its principles for Sustainable Beef Farming at the “Beefing up Sustainability” seminar on 26th November 2013. These principles represent the food industry’s position on achieving sustainability in beef farming. The ambition is that the principles will lead the way to beef production that is better able to help protect the environment,and deliver improved social and economic conditions for farmers, their employees and local communities.
WRAP (the Waste Resources Action Programme) has published a new report which uses an econometric modelling approach to investigate the influences on household food waste and food purchases. It also looks into the implications of less food being wasted.
Researchers at the Stockholm Environment Institute in York have built a model that looks at the pressure that UK consumption activities place on biodiversity overseas. The model, funded by Defra, provides a framework for assessing the links between goods and services consumed in the UK but imported from overseas to potential impacts of their production on biodiversity in their country of origin. The model can be used to explore the impacts of over 200 agricultural products (and many other products of non-agricultural systems, e.g. mining, forestry and fisheries), and can break down consumption impacts resulting from demand from specific product groups.
The ‘2016 Food, Water, Energy and Climate Outlook’ by the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change finds that even if commitments from the COP21 climate agreement are kept, many staple crops in various regions are still at risk of crop failures through extreme events, but at the same time, yields in many regions are projected to increase.
The Danish Council of Ethics has launched an English version of its report on the ethical challenges associated with bioenergy production. The “Report on bioenergy, food production, and ethics in a globalised world” considers the production of bioenergy in a situation characterized by several major global crises - energy, food, climate and natural resources. Some forms of bioenergy may be a tool in battling the energy crisis and the climate crisis. However, growing energy crops may compete with food production and nature for scarce resources and thereby counter solutions to the equally acute crises concerning food and natural resources. The main focus of the report is thus on the ways bioenergy competes with food production and nature for scarce resources. The Council focuses also on the values that determine the choice of strategy in regard to countering these four challenges and points out that ethical deliberations should be more made more explicit in political decision-making related to major global crises.
New research by the United Nations Environment programme UNEP, United Nations Development programme UNDP, World Resources Institute WRI and the World Bank presents solutions to meet the world's growing food needs, while advancing economic development and environmental sustainability.
The report One Planet Living – The case for Sustainable Consumption and Production in the Post-2015 development agenda, a collaboration between Beyond 2015, Bond for International Development, and BioRegional, argues that sustainable consumption and production need to be included in the post-2015 development agenda that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals.
In this report the Meridian Institute maps the funding activities of seventeen multilateral, bilateral, and philanthropic donors active in the climate change and agriculture arena. Each donor profile includes:
1) climate change and agriculture activities
2) financing for climate change and agriculture
3) geographic emphases, and
4) donor evolution over time.
The Living With Environmental Change (LWEC) Climate Mitigation Task Force has released a report which looks at where there might be a need for research activity on geoengineering. The report is a joint production between the Met Office Hadley Centre, University of East Anglia/Natural Environment Research Council and University of Exeter.
This report by Zero Carbon Australia, outlines how research on greenhouse gas emissions from land use (agriculture and forestry) can be reduced to zero net emissions, coupled with economic opportunities and increased resilience in the face of climate change. The land use sector is the second largest source of emissions in Australia and is highly exposed to the impacts of climate change. 15% of total emissions in Australia are from the agriculture and forestry sectors, the largest component of which is land clearing for grazing.
In this briefing paper by IIED, Essam Yassin Mohammed argues that sustainable fisheries must be central to the new global development goals (SDGs) of 2015. This could either be realised by providing goals and targets for the fisheries themselves in the agenda — or by making them part of a broader set of goals that focus on food security and livelihoods.
The UK’s Family Food report provides detailed statistics on food and drink purchases, expenditure and the derived nutrient content of those purchases from a large household survey covering the United Kingdom. It looks specifically at the domestic, household level.
Chapters include: purchases and expenditure, energy and nutrient intakes, geographic and demographic comparisons as well as a chapter on dietary trends.
This research quantifies the short-term costs of delaying action when confronted with the climate challenge. It concludes that the later climate policy implementation starts, the faster -- hence the more expensive -- emissions have to be reduced if states world-wide want to achieve the internationally agreed target of limiting global warming to 2 degrees above pre-industrial level.
In 2013 the UK’s Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) released the publication entitled Household Food and Drink Waste in the UK 2012 which quantified the amounts, types and reasons for food and drink being wasted from UK households. It found that the amount of avoidable household food waste in 2012 (4.2 million tonnes per year) is equivalent to six meals every week for the average UK household. Preventing this food waste could save the average family up to £700 a year and deliver significant environmental benefits through landfill avoidance and by mitigating climate change (on the basis that this ‘unnecessary’ food would not need to be produced and hence all the costs associated with its production and distribution would be avoided).
These two reports, co-written by FCRN member Xavier Poux from AScA in France, focus on a potential agroecology transition in Europe.
In this policy briefing “A Healthy and Sustainable Food Future Policy recommendations to embed sustainability in the Eatwell Guide and wider UK food policy” the Eating Better Alliance and Medact call on Public Health England (PHE), government more broadly and health professionals to do more to promote healthy and sustainable diets and to ensure that dietary recommendations underpin food and farming policy.
This report, jointly published by WWF and brewing company SABMiller discusses the way we govern water, food and energy resources. Changing consumption patterns and demographic pressures are increasing the risk of resource scarcity and managing these risks and building the resilience of our water, food and energy systems are described as an essential but neglected part of development.
A new index has been produced by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that can be used to compare well-being across 36 countries, based on 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential.
Approximately one-third of all food produced for human consumption in the world is lost or wasted. This FAO report argues that this waste represents a missed opportunity to improve global food security, and to mitigate the environmental impacts resulting from the food supply chain.
IFPRI (the International Food Policy Research Institute) has released an issue brief on genetically modified crops in sub-Saharan Africa and their role in agricultural development. The report argues that many policy makers in sub-Saharan Africa lack information about GM crops’ potential, benefits, costs, and safety.
The European Commission released an announcement before Christmas 2013 on new proposals for regulation of animal cloning in the food chain. The proposal argues that farm-animal cloning should be banned in the European Union, along with imports of cloned livestock and the sale of food from such animals. In a report commenting on the new regulation the consultancy ICF GHK argues that in principle the EU could however still produce offspring of clones by importing reproductive material from clones from EU trading regions, and by importing live animals or food products derived from such animals.
The European Commission has released a report entitled: Prospects for Agricultural Markets and Income in the EU from 2012-2022. The report predicts that total meat production in the EU is expected to decline by 2% over the next two years, due in part to the ban on sow stalls. After the oncoming 2% decline, it may take up to 10 years for the EU meat sector to reach its 2011 production level of 45 million tones. The report also predicted that the EU would see its share of global meat exports decline over the next decade.
New official data from the European Union shows a 19.2 % reduction on GHG emissions on 1990 levels, suggesting that the union is within reach of its target to reduce emissions by 20% until 2020. Emissions fell by 1.3 % between 2011 and 2012, largely due to reductions in transport and industry and a growing proportion of energy from renewable sources. Italy alone accounted for 45 % of the total EU net reduction in emissions in 2012, largely due to lower emissions from transport and industry.
The CDP Global Forests Report 2013, launched on 20 November 2013 provides an analysis of the global companies that responded to CDP’s 2013 forests information request on behalf of 184 investors with $13 trillion in assets. The report provides an insight into how companies are addressing their exposure to risks from the agricultural commodities responsible for most deforestation globally.
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.
Old wine in new bottles: the winery Virginia Marie Lambrix has partnered with packaging specialists to create their new Truett Hurst PaperBoy wine bottle. The package replaces glass with recycled paper and all material inputs used in producing the bottle are included based on sustainability criteria. The outer shell is made of recycled corrugated waste and the thin plastic liner, screw cap closure, inks and other materials are all UV-based and do not contain volatile organic compounds.
The report Save and grow: Cassava is a 140 page guide for farmers and policy makers alike, showing how “Save and Grow” can help cassava growers avoid the risks of intensification, while realizing the crop’s potential for producing higher yields. This in turn, is described as a pathway for alleviating hunger and rural poverty, and contributing to national economic development. This is the first in a series of guides on the practical application of FAO’s ecosystem-based model of agriculture, which aims at improving productivity while conserving natural resources.
Food Security in a World of Natural Resource Scarcity: The Role of Agricultural Technologies examines the role of agricultural practices and technologies in helping farmers improve the sustainability of maize, rice, and wheat production. We have previously highlighted an earlier IFPRI policy brief in this newsletter on the same topic.
This report by Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative SIANI, deals with potential ways of feeding the projected world population of 9.6 billion in 2050 by sustainably closing yield gaps.
This report updates WRAP’s 2007 report The Food We Waste which exposed the full scale of the food waste problem for the first time. It identifies how much food is wasted in UK homes, which foods are wasted most and why, and how much that waste costs. The WRAP research reveals a substantial reduction in the amount of household food and drink waste arising between 2007 and 2012, while also highlighting the scale of the opportunity remaining.
This IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute) policy note summarises the results of a study that compares the effects that different technologies have on crop yields and resource use, in particular arable land, water and nutrient inputs. It models technology-induced changes in crop yields and considers how the mix of technology uptake can influence the global food market through changes in food prices and trade flows, as well as calorie availability, in particular for developing countries.
This report from the Swedish WWF's Ecological footprint unit provides a mapping of current scenarios, ongoing work and a compilation of knowledge on sustainable production and consumption of food.
A new policy report from the Fairtrade foundation, Britain’s Bruising Banana Wars: Why cheap bananas threaten farmers’ futures looks at how price pressures in many banana producing countries have led to job losses, the casualisation of labour and the marginalising of smallholder producers. These in turn negatively affects wages, access to services and the environmental sustainability of banana production.
This discussion paper introduces ideas on how to manage and improve cross-sectoral collaborative action addressing sustainability challenges. It highlights how complex non-linear linkages exist between food, agricultural, and land systems and it looks at the question of how stakeholders can collaborate and how to improve the effectiveness of cross-sectoral collaborations.
The report investigates consumers’ meat eating patterns, the relationship with BMI, and their willingness to eat less meat or to eat meat that they may perceive to be ‘better’ in some way – eg. organic or free range.
The Swiss Federal Research Station Agroscope and the consulting firm Quantis, have launched the World Food LCA Database (WFLDB). Launched in 2012, it aims to provide reliable and up-to-date data for more accurate food and beverage life cycle assessments (LCA), decisions and communication. The overarching goal is to bring together experts from all stages in the food chain to develop a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory database for accurate life cycle assessments (LCA).
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.
Forest Peoples Programme, Sawit Watch and TUK Indonesia has produced this report on the large-scale expansion of oil palm plantations across Southeast Asia and Africa and their environmental and social impacts. The report questions the effectiveness of RSPO standards (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). These standards in theory encourage oil palm expansion in ways that do not destroy high conservation values or cause social conflict. They also require member companies to respect the collective right of indigenous peoples and other local communities to give or withhold their consent prior to the development of oil palm on the lands they own, inhabit and use.
Catapult, an organisation working to end trade in products linked to deforestation, praise the pledges made by Unilever and Ferrero to strengthen commitments to sustainable palm oil, going beyond the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) standards. Both companies are thus coming closer to the goal of sourcing only fully traceable, certified and sustainable palm oil.
This report by the John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future presents itself as the ‘first international landscape assessment of industrial food animal production (IFAP) in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to focus on trends in food animal production, related domestic and international policies, environmental and public health impacts and animal welfare.’
This report presents findings based on an interdisciplinary systems level scenario approach designed specifically to address complex societal problems. The project was funded by the Sustainable Consumption Institute to explore how the UK food system may develop and change in response to futures bounded by more or less extreme climate impacts and emission cuts. The UK is taken as a case study to explore suites of possible futures that address adaptation, mitigation and demand.
This book presents an overview of the latest research, policy, practitioner, academic and international thinking on water security—an issue that, like water governance a few years ago, has developed much policy awareness and momentum with a wide range of stakeholders. As a concept it is open to multiple interpretations, and the authors here set out the various approaches to the topic from different perspectives.
This new book by Maurie J. Cohen examines how the system of mass consumption is changing; discusses popular trends such as the sharing economy, the Maker Movement, and economic localization; and describes the role that worker-consumer cooperatives could play in actively changing the current paradigm.
This book, written by FCRN member, Roger Leakey, is about all the many ways that trees are beneficial to humankind. It also looks at the big global issues of environmental degradation, poverty, malnutrition and hunger that affect the lives of billions of people worldwide and addresses the conclusion of numerous reports that “business as usual is not the way forward for agriculture.”
Contemporary agriculture is often criticized for its industrial scale, adverse effects on nutrition, rural employment and the environment, and its disconnectedness from nature and culture. Yet there are many examples of traditional smaller scale systems that have survived the test of time and provide more sustainable solutions while still maintaining food security in an era of climate change. This book provides a unique compilation of this forgotten agricultural heritage and is based on objective scientific evaluation and evidence of the value of these systems for present and future generations.
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has published a new book focusing on the role of dairy products in improving nutrition in developing countries.
The book ‘Challenging Consumption’, produced by the CONSENSUS research team, explores the topic of sustainable consumption. It includes discussions on future scenarios and innovations for sustainable food consumption practices. The book was launched in Dublin on 12th June 2014 by Dara Lynott, a Director of the Environmental Protection Agency who funds CONSENSUS research.
This book examines the rise of the urban food planning movement in the Global North and provides insights into the new relationship between cities and food which has started developing over the past decade.
This book focuses on the food security in India, arguing that the challenges India faces have particular significance worldwide. It says that India’s chronic food security problem is a function of a distinctive interaction of economic, political and environmental processes. It says that a well-rounded appreciation of the problem is required, informed by the FAO’s conception of food security as encompassing availability (production), access (distribution) and utilisation (nutritional content), as well as by Amartya Sen’s notions of entitlements and capabilities.
Farmagaddeon describes the effects of livestock intensification (“factory farming”) around the world. It makes the case against industrialised agriculture arguing that it affects not only the welfare of farmed animals but also increasingly our countryside, health and the quality of our food all around the world.
The focus of this book is to introduce a non-specialist audience to the role of precision agriculture (PA) in food security, environmental protection, and sustainable use of natural resources, as well as its economic benefits.
In ‘From Plate to Guide: What, why and how for the eatwell model’ Public Health England details how it moved from its 2014 Eatwell Plate to the 2016 Eatwell Guide.
This video introduces the themes and goals of the Global Landscapes Forum which will take place in Warsaw 16-17 November this year, during COP 19. The forum will focus on issues such as how we can feed a growing population without clearing the world’s remaining forests to make way for new farmland and how we can stem the tide of climate change. The overall aim is to discuss how a “landscapes approach” can help us address these issues.
Click here to see the video.
In a paper in PLOS One, researcher Gregory Okin suggests that the diets of carnivorous pets, like cats and dogs, have a significant impact on climate change. He estimates that in the U.S. alone, cats and dogs are responsible for 25-30 percent of the environmental impact of meat consumption in the country. In the U.S. there are 163 million cats and dogs, which together eat as much food as all the people in France. Okin found that to feed these animals the US releases 64 million tons of CO2.
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.
This 8 minute video from NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) features Kenny Black and Jo Gosling of the Scottish Association for Marine Science who discuss how fish farming might be made more sustainable.
On January 22nd USAID’s online knowledge sharing platform Agrilinks held a seminar on Scaling-up Re-greening Solutions in Africa to Boost Smallholder Yields. It discussed a recently released report by World Resources Institute (WRI) on “Improving Land and Water Management”.
A recent study from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research finds that the UK is failing to make the most of its abundant biomass potential. The researchers found that almost half, up to 44%, of the UK's energy could be produced within the country by using biomass sources, including household waste, agricultural residues and home-grown biofuels. The UK currently produces about half of the food it consumes, and is ~60% ‘self-sufficient’. Although complete food self-sufficiency is not the current goal, the researchers stress that improved food system adaptive capacity is important if the UK is to cope with future stresses in the food system.
The Irish CONSENSUS research project on sustainable household consumption has launched a set of two-minute video animations on their research. CONSENSUS aims to advance understanding of the drivers shaping everyday household consumption practices and to identify policy, technology and educational interventions to facilitate sustainable living. We are highlighting three of their videos here.
This blog-post in The Economist, written by Sir Gordon Conway and Katy Wilson, describes their views on sustainable intensification. They argue that, to ensure food security in ways that maximise both agricultural output and the health of the environment and ecosystem, we need to redesign our innovation systems to aid multidisciplinary and collaborative research.
Brighter Green has released a policy paper exploring the growth of industrial dairy systems in India, China, and countries of Southeast Asia. It explores the trend toward increased dairy consumption and production and argues that the growth of industrial systems results in severe consequences for the environment, public health, animal welfare, and rural economies. The report examines systemic changes in Asia while also providing country-specific case study analyses of Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In this post on the Defra Sustainable development Scene, Toby Pickard, Senior Sustainability Analyst at the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) in the UK, looks at shopper attitudes towards achieving a sustainable diet, the challenges surrounding this and the implications for the food and consumer goods industry.
In September 2016, France banned the use of non-biodegradable plastic cups and cutlery, as from 2020. The ban was proposed by Europe Écologie, Les Verts, France’s green party.
In a new report, entitled ‘Fiscal policies for diet and the prevention of noncommunicable diseases’, the World Health Organisation (WHO) advocates subsidies and taxes on healthy and unhealthy foods respectively. One of the report’s major conclusions was
This FAO key note presentation was given by Andrea Cattaneo at the 3rd Global Conference on Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security and Climate Change, held in South Africa in December 2013.
This app is a greenhouse gas calculator for farming. It is aimed at companies who can use it to collate and manage supply chain emissions and for farmers for use as decision support.
The resources presented by SciDev.Net provide experience, information and recommendations from a range of experts around the world.
The Good Enough to Eat Index highlights some of the areas of critical concern for many countries when it comes to making sure that people can eat well, and indicates some important failings of the global food system that must be addressed. The index is an interactive snapshot of 125 countries showing the best and worst places in the world to eat, and the challenges people face getting enough of the right food. It was constructed to illustrate how overconsumption, misuse of resources and waste are common elements of a system where one in eight people suffer from hunger, while there is enough food to feed the global population.
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.
A hydroponic farm is being built in a network of tunnels underneath south London. The aim is for these cultivations to supply local restaurants and retailers with fresh herbs and vegetables. The aim of the Growing Underground project is to demonstrate that it is possible to operate a commercial urban farm with a minimal carbon footprint. Hydroponic farming essentially means growing plants in a mineral-rich solution on specially constructed growing platforms under controlled temperature and lighting conditions, making the tunnels a perfect location.
In this guest-blogpost on the SIANI website, Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Sustainable Development at the World Bank, contributes with a piece on the UN climate talks in Warsaw, Poland and the lack of progress made in getting agriculture on the agenda. She also reflects on the potential for climate-smart agriculture and in particular the opportunities for an Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture to forge consensus and collaboration in this area.
A summary of a discussion on sustainable diets, hosted by the Guardian, is now available on their website. It sought to take a holistic approach to the interlinked issues of food, farming, environment and health, focusing on the issues of how a sustainable diet should be defined and achieved.
Discussants included Jo Confino (Chair) Executive editor, the Guardian, Tim Lang Professor of Food Policy, City of London and David Nussbaum Chief executive, WWF, Tim Smith Group quality director, Tesco.
From FCRN member Professor Amir Sharif from Brunel University, we are including this recent article in The European Financial Review entitled “Food Security In The UK: A Post-Brexit View”. In it the authors discuss what factors the UK needs to consider post-Brexit in order to ensure consistent, safe and secure food production, supply and consumption.
You can read the article here (requires free registration).
The EU Gratitude project is aiming to reduce waste from post-harvest losses of root and tuber crops and turn unavoidable waste into something of value. It has yielded interesting findings on how waste from cassava and yams is managed in the value chains, findings which challenge the conventional idea that waste and losses in developing countries occur at the farm end of the value chain. In fact the results, presented at the mid-term review meeting, showed that in Ghana in particular waste and losses were greater at the consumer end and hence more costly- these patterns are more similar to those found in developed countries than previously believed.
A European consortium of higher education institutions are now offering Masters and Doctoral level programmes in Governance for Sustainable Development. For more information see here.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and National Science Foundation (NSF) are inviting expressions of interest from UK and US researchers to take part in a five-day Ideas Lab to develop innovative and transformative ways to reduce inputs of nitrogen fertilizers to non-leguminous crops whilst maintaining or increasing yield, through a multidisciplinary approach. The joint 'Ideas Lab' aims to help meet the challenge of sustainably producing enough food for a growing population, whilst reducing fertiliser inputs.
The Ideas Lab will develop outline proposals that will subsequently be developed into full proposals and submitted for consideration by the funding agencies and a team of mentors. Successful proposals developed through the Ideas Lab will be jointly funded by BBSRC and NSF, and up to $12M ($6M or equivalent each from the US and the UK) is available subject to proposals. NSF is also holding a separate call for eligible US applicants who do not wish to participate in the Ideas Lab but would still like to apply.
Closing Date: Friday 28 September 2012
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has been awarded a £3.5m grant by the Leverhulme Trust to develop an innovative programme to link agriculture and health research for international development in the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH). The Centre brings together research groups from six colleges in the University of London, comprising economists, sociologists, anthropologists, nutritionists and epidemiologists to develop a programme of inter-sectoral and inter-disciplinary research, supported by new appointments, studentships and courses.
LSHTM are seeking to make a Senior Appointment to join the Leverhulme Centre in the arena of nutrition-sensitive development with a particular emphasis on inter-sectoral development initiatives to improve nutrition outcomes.
For more information see here.
The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) seeks a Research Fellow or Senior Research Fellow, based in Washington, for a three-year, fixed-term, renewable appointment to work on research activities for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change (CCAFS). This position will will conduct research on the financial and institutional mechanisms that enhance the practice of climate change mitigation in agriculture and agricultural landscapes. Particular attention should be given to practices that have the potential to improve farmers' productivity and livelihoods and ecosystem services, the economics of mitigation practices, the role of the private sector and REDD finance and activities to sustainable agricultural intensification.
For more information see here.
Applications are invited from social researchers interested in an analysis and knowledge transfer role working within the Animal Welfare Policy Programme at Defra with an inter-disciplinary team of social scientists. Defra is seeking to develop social research in animal welfare to assist in delivery of national and European lead policies. This fellowship is a key step towards a comprehensive understanding of the issues to consider and evidence gaps towards which a research programme could be developed to deliver policy relevant evidence. Specific actions will include high-level strategic inputs and analysis and providing quality assurance on research projects in partnership with Defra and others. By working directly in Defra offices, the fellow will provide a broader knowledge-transfer role (drawing in academic evidence) and contribute to capacity development where wider social science approaches and insights are shared with Defra and others.
For more information see here. The deadline for applications is August 31st 2012.
The aim of the post is to ensure that research relevant to sustainable food production, especially research produced by NERC, is accessible to practitioners and policymakers and used in decision making. The work will consist of searching the literature and writing summaries of relevant studies in the style used in www.conservationevidence.com. It will concentrate on the effectiveness of interventions to enhance natural pest control and pollination services in farmed areas important for the UK food system. The post will be based in the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge. The appointment will be up to 31 May 2013 , starting on 1 October 2012. This job is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), as part of the NERC Knowledge Exchange Programme on Sustainable Food Production led by the University of Cambridge.
The deadline for applications is 20 August. For more information see here.
Schumacher College’s postgraduate programme in Sustainable Horticulture and Food Production explores the frontiers of research and practice that will meet the challenges our food systems face in the 21st Century. This programme is a blend of academic and practical learning opportunities from Schumacher College, Plymouth University and the Centre for Alternative Technology. It will explore the roles of agricultural systems, ‘human scale’ horticulture and botanical diversity in food production, from a starting point of natural systems. The course format has been designed to allow students to combine study at postgraduate level with work and other commitments, and there are also part-time options. For more information see here.
Hello! My name is Abigail Nielsen and I am a student at Arizona State University where I am a member of Barrett, the Honors College. I am a Dietetics major with a minor in Global Health. Currently I am applying for a national grant called the Circumnavigator Grant, which allows its recipient to design a research project and study it in at least 6 countries while circumnavigating the globe. For my project, I'm looking to study innovative nutrition education programs in the following countries:
These countries were chosen because they appear on Bloomberg's 2012 list of the “World's Healthiest Countries.” I'm looking for community nutrition programs that are "out of the box" and most importantly, effective. These programs can be geared towards children or adults, but must display effectiveness and innovation. My end goal is to be able to compile a best practices guide for nutrition education that can be used all over the world. If you know of any programs that would fit these basic criteria or if you have any questions, please contact me at email@example.com. Thank you very much for your time.
Stockholm University in collaboration with the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition at Karolinska Institutet is offering an advanced level course, Environment and Nutrition from an Individual and Global Perspective (7.5 ETCS), 6 May - 7 June 2013.
The course aims to increase awareness and knowledge of sustainable food consumption and production, and the benefits from a combined healthy and environmentally smart diet. Examples of topics that will be covered in the course are: life cycle analysis (LCA), climate impact and land use for different foods, animal welfare, food quality and health effects of food from organic versus conventional production, global trends, and challenges and policy implications for sustainable food production and consumption.
Click here for more details.
The University of Aberdeen has six PhD studentships available in its Environment and Food Security (EFS) theme. The program aims to facilitate interdisciplinary research and education to provide sustainable solutions to the major environmental challenges of the 21st Century. Applications are due by 23 November.
For more information, click here.
International Society of Tropical Foresters, Yale Chapter19th Annual Conference - January 24-26, 2013
Forests are an essential component of multi-functional tropical landscapes that have the potential to meet growing global demands for agricultural goods while maintaining ecosystem services, conserving biodiversity, and providing secure access to food for local communities. In addition to being a source of nutritionally diverse food for one billion people, forests also provide resources essential to agricultural production and can play a key role in adapting agriculture to a changing climate. However, the integration of agriculture with forests is hindered by monoculture agricultural systems that drive deforestation while creating a false dichotomy between forests and food. Assessing the role that forests play in achieving equitable and resilient food systems is therefore critical for achieving both humanitarian and environmental goals.
On January 24-26, the Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters will gather practitioners and researchers from academia, government, and environment and development institutions to discuss how development and conservation goals can be integrated across food producing landscapes in the tropics in order to promote food security and healthy forests. The conference will also consider at what scales this integration should occur, potential challenges to implementation, and lessons learned. We encourage submissions that look beyond yield and calories to address issues of access, nutrition, resilience, rights, and governance, as well as analyses of ecosystem services and forest management.
See here for the latest discussion thread on our Forum posts from last week – an interesting exchange on how to account for GHG emissions in agriculture where systems are complex - example involving crop rotations, and even combinations of crops and livestock. Please continue to use this space to respond, collaborate, and debate, as there is an enormous amount of expertise represented by our membership.
Are you aware of, or pursuing private sector engagement in integrated landscape management, in the agriculture or forestry sectors? If so, researchers completing a scoping assessment would like to include this in new research on behalf of the EcoAgriculture Partners' Landscapes for People, Food and Nature initiative.
EcoAgriculture Partners is a coalition of leading agriculture, environment and rural development organizations. Co-organizers include Biodiversity International, Conservation International, EcoAgriculture Partners, FAO, the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies, International Fund for Agricultural Development, UNEP, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), The World Resources Institute, and the Government of the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, Economic Affairs and Innovation.
The research seeks to enumerate the “business case” for when and how participation by companies in integrated landscape management initiatives may help the private sector advance business objectives. Integrated landscape management supports food production, ecosystem conservation, and rural livelihoods across entire landscapes. This initial scoping of modes and rationale for business engagement will be followed by the development of three in-depth case studies and synthesis of principles, lessons, and opportunities for effective business engagement. Please contact Gabrielle Kissinger, Lexeme Consulting (firstname.lastname@example.org) and André Brasser, Beagle Sustainable Solutions (email@example.com) to contribute your ideas.
The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued a call for proposals for project SEG1204: Review of evidence on consumer food related behaviours that impact on sustainability.
The context for this call is the Green Food Project Report's (July 2012) conclusions which commit the Steering Group to facilitating a “wider, more sophisticated debate across the whole food chain about the role diet and consumption play in the sustainability of the food system.”
Defra therefore wishes to commission research to explore opportunities for increasing consumer uptake of sustainable food-related behaviours. The research will assess critically and summarise evidence around two key objectives:
- What are the ‘hotspots’ (i.e. UK consumer behaviours that have the greatest impact on the global environment) associated with the practice of eating?
- What package of mechanisms are available and most effective (including cost effective) for reducing the negative environmental impacts of consumer behaviours?
For more information see here: http://www.defra.gov.uk/evidence/funding/competitions/
The deadline for applications is 11 December 2012
University of Oxford Department of Public Health British Heart Foundation Health Promotion Research Group (BHF HPRG) James Martin Fellow Grade 7: £29,249 - £35,938 per annum Ref: 105216
The University of Oxford’s Department of Public Health wishes to recruit a researcher to work in the British Heart Foundation’s Health Promotion Research Group on a project funded by the Oxford Martin Future of Food programme. The Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food links together existing research at Oxford on the food system and supports new interdisciplinary research that addresses the challenges of feeding the global population sustainably, healthily and equitably.
The successful applicant will be responsible for the work conducted for the Future of Food modelling project, which aims to bring together different modelling techniques from the fields of agricultural economics, environmental change and public health to consider social, health and environmental outcomes of future scenarios of global food production. Work will include developing and conducting modelling studies, presenting results at national and international conferences and producing drafts of papers and funding applications.
The candidate should: have a PhD (or exceptionally a Masters) in a field related to public health, economics or environmental sciences; a good knowledge of the role of the food system in nutrition, economics or environmental change, demonstrative skills of strong quantitative research and previous experience of modelling projects; a strong track record of publications is also essential.
The post will be based at the Dept of Public Health, Old Road Campus, Headington, Oxford and is offered full-time for 36 months. The closing date for applications is midday on 4 January 2013 and interviews are planned for 25 January 2013.
Applications for this vacancy are to be made online. To apply for this role and for further details, including a job description and person specification, please click here.
This comes from FCRN network member Richard Twine at Lancaster University:
I am interested in collaborating with people researching various dimensions of the global meat/dairy industries, including community level initiatives to reduce meat/dairy consumption.
I am further interested in sociological research which focuses upon the role of family and personal relationships in shaping food practices and norms in this area.
At a much more macro level, I am interested in the role of corporations and political economy in constructing the livestock revolution.
Conceptually, I am guided by practice theory, political economy and gender analyses of food.
Richard can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has issued a call for proposals for project SCFS1202: Climate change and extreme weather events, establishing a methodology for estimation economic impacts on agriculture.
Defra is responsible for developing the first National Adaptation Programme (NAP) focusing on helping businesses, local authorities and civil society to become more resilient or ‘Climate Ready’ to climate change impacts. The ongoing Economics of Climate Resilience (ECR) research project is assessing the extent to which the UK will adapt (pro- and reactively) to climate change in the long run and what further effort might be needed to fill any adaptive deficit, if it exists.
Techniques to estimate the impact of climate change have mainly relied on models of projected average changes in climate which have limited capacity to account for extreme events. This project addresses this limitation by establishing and testing a methodology to estimate the economic impacts of extreme weather events on agriculture in England using scenarios (rather than modelled outputs) of future extreme events. This methodology should also consider the influence that extreme weather events have on the attitudes, actions and approach to future business planning of farmers.
The project is expected to answer following questions:
- What extreme events have the potential to incur substantial costs on agriculture? (based on Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA))
- How do extreme events influence the behaviour of farmers, and the decision criteria (e.g. approach to risk) they use? In particular, are there systematic failures in the perception of risks? (based on REA)
- How can the economic cost associated with these events be estimated?
For more information, see here.
The deadline for applications is 20 December 2012.
The principal objective of ‘Feeding the Future – Innovation Requirements for Primary Food Production in the UK to 2030’ is to present a comprehensive and balanced view of the high-level research and innovation needs of UK primary food producers to 2030. Through a series of workshops and consultations with key industry stakeholders, a set of generic R&D priorities have been identified with the hope that if they are addressed in a timely manner, positive outcomes can be anticipated for the UK industry to respond positively to many challenges associated with increased volatility in global markets both for inputs and products. The generic issues are grouped into seven areas based upon the findings of the workshops. The findings summarised below should be viewed as a suite of proposals that could form the basis for future concerted actions by a range of funders.
- Utilisation of modern technologies to improve the precision and efficiency of key agricultural management practices.
- Apply modern genetic and breeding approaches to improve the quality, sustainability, resilience and profitability of crops and farm animals.
- Use systems-based approaches to understand better and manage interactions between soil, water and crop/animal processes.
- Develop integrated approaches to the effective management of crop and animal diseases within farming systems.
- Develop evidence-based approaches to value ecosystem service delivery by land users and incorporate these approaches into effective decision support systems at the enterprise or grouped enterprise level.
- Extend the training and professional development of researchers, practitioners and advisors to promote delivery of the targets above.
- Improve the use of social and economic science to promote development, uptake and use of sustainable, resilient and profitable agricultural practice that can deliver affordable, safe and high-quality products.
The Commissioning Group is welcoming feedback from all stakeholders, to enable them to validate their findings and recommendations prior to completion and presentation of its final report, on behalf of the industry, to the major funders of UK Agricultural & Horticultural R&D in March 2013. The draft report will be subject to a period of open consultation until 31 January 2013 to allow all stakeholders to review and comment on the recommendations.
To read the draft report and submit comments, click here.
This comes from FCRN network member Dr. Donal Murphy-Bokern:
I'm using the Forum here seeking contact with any researchers who may be interested in assisting in a study of the effect of Corporate Social Responsibility schemes on greenhouse gas emissions from the food system. The study already has committed funding. The assistance can be provided anywhere, but a base in Europe is an advantage. The study language is English.
This opportunity may suit a recent graduate who wants to expand their research experience into the analysis of food chains and the use of non-financial reporting and instruments. There is significant scope for gaining personal experience and increased research profile, and integration of the work into post-graduate research is a possibility.
For further details please contact Donal Murphy-Bokern (email@example.com).
SIS, Swedish Standards Institute, is calling for expression of interest from experts within the field of carbon footprint of products to support its international development cooperation projects. Currently SIS is, implementing projects in Asia and East Africa with the aim of enhancing capacity in participating countries to develop and adopt international standards. As a part of this project, local public and private organisations will be supported to pilot carbon footprinting of several agricultural products.
Landbridge is a knowledge exchange network for rural professionals. Its aims are to provide a platform for inter-professional learning and debate among advisors from across professions and to provide opportunities for two way exchange with the research community. Through contributions to advisor learning, networking and training, Landbridge will aim to enhance advice to farming and land focused businesses. A panel from the rural professions has assisted with planning and implementing the initiative and continues to advise on its development. Landbridge is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council, Rural Economy and Land Use Programme and the Living With Environmental Change Partnership.
To access the site, click here.
The National Environment Research Council (NERC) Knowledge Exchange Programme on Sustainable Food Production has launched a new website that compiles scientific evidence for the effects of interventions to make food production more environmentally sustainable. Between now and mid-2013, a team of Programme staff are actively synthesizing evidence on how to enhance natural pest control services and improve soil on farms, and how to make salmonid and warm-water prawn aquaculture more sustainable.
To access the site, click here.
The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is inviting potential R&D providers to submit a tender for a pilot study on ’Climate Change and extreme weather events, establishing a methodology for estimating economic impacts on agriculture’ (SCFS1202). Techniques to estimate the impact of climate change have mainly relied on models of projected average changes in climate which have limited capacity to account for extreme events. This project addresses this limitation by establishing and testing a methodology to estimate the economic impacts of extreme weather events on agriculture in England using scenarios (rather than modelled outputs) of future extreme events. This methodology should also consider the influence that extreme weather events have on the attitudes, actions and approach to future business planning of farmers. The project should undertake a Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) surveying existing literature and analysis on observed extreme weather events in England and their impact on farm businesses since 1950. Based on the REA, relevant weather events will have been identified and these should be used to construct a set of scenarios covering possible future extreme weather patterns. The project will develop a methodology to estimate the economic costs associated with extreme events.
Applications for this project must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 4:00pm on or before Thursday, 20 December. Late applications, and applications received by post or fax will not be not accepted.
For more information, click here.
Salary circa £25,000 pro rata, depending on experience
The post is for 37 hours/week (full time) for maternity cover. This includes a guarantee of 3 months employment with the possibility of extension by consultation. A secondment from another organisation may be considered. Interviews will take place on Friday 18 January at the Bulmer Foundation Offices, The Cider Museum, 21 Ryelands Street, Hereford HR4 0LW. Employment is expected to start on Monday 18 February, including a fortnight’s handover period with the current post-holder prior to her starting maternity leave on 1 March.
Flexibility is required for some evening and occasional weekend work and the employee will be expected to work from home the majority of the time, though office space is available within the Bulmer Foundation if required. The job will require a significant amount of travelling in the west midlands and the south west. There is a possibility that a planned visit to France will require organising during the period of maternity cover.
In order to apply please send or email a CV, the names and addresses of two referees and a covering letter to Emily Durrant at the Bulmer Foundation (email@example.com, address as above) by Friday 28 December.
For more information, click here.
Term: Full-time position
Location: Freiburg, Germany
UNIQUE forestry and land use GmbH is a leading consultancy and project developer in the forestry and land use sector. We are a team of 35 forestry and natural resource management professionals with offices in Germany, Uganda, Paraguay and representatives in Argentina, China and India. UNIQUE has five divisions: Forestry Consulting, Timber Economics, Climate, Forest Investments and International Cooperation.
- Coordinating and developing UNIQUE’s agricultural project portfolio
- Compiling analytical background papers, supporting development projects (feasibility, implementation and evaluation related tasks), economic assessment of agricultural investments including due diligence, agribusiness development
- Travelling up-to 3 months a year
- 5 years of working experiences in tropical agriculture with development/finance agencies or the private sector
- PhD or MSc in agriculture with a focus on agricultural economics and production systems, ideally with experience in rural finance, extension and climate change response measures
- Business judgment and business development instinct to support project acquisi-tion and the development of investment projects
- Analytical thinking and decision making capability
- Result driven taking personal ownership and accountability to meet deadlines and achieve agreed-upon results
- Contributing productively to inter-disciplinary team's work and output, demon-strating respect for different points of view
- English fluency and strong writing skills required, additional languages (German, Spanish, French and Portuguese etc.) preferred
Food Sovereignty Tours, a project of Food First is offering a tour to Bolivia, 9-18 March 2013. On this tour, guests will explore the complex reality of Andean food sovereignty while being immersed in Andean culture and visiting the spectacular landscapes of the Altiplano. The focus will be on two of Bolivia’s most important products, quinoa and llamas, and meeting with farmers and herders to hear firsthand how they have been affected by globalization and climate change.
The mission of Food Sovereignty Tours is to build a global movement for food sovereignty through solidarity travel and immersion learning. Food Sovereignty Tours is a project of Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy.
For more information, click here.
Solidaridad is currently seeking a Senior Programme Manager for its Livestock Programme in South America and abroad. The candidate will be in charge of Solidaridad’s ongoing projects in Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay, will represent the organisation at the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) and the regional roundtable in Brazil, the GTPS, and will lead the Solidaridad Network global livestock program.
For required qualifications and additional information, click here.
Interested candidates should send a CV and English motivation letter before 1 February 2013 explaining clearly your motives, to Jeroen Douglas, Managing Director Solidaridad South America Jeroen.Douglas@solidaridadnetwork.org, copying in Rosario.Abramo@solidaridadnetwork.org.
Principal Researcher - Crops & Agroforestry Team Leader (Grade 8) – Ref: RES1302
Salary range £31,940 - £40,430 (pay review in progress)
The Organic Research Centre in Newbury, Berkshire, UK is looking to appoint a Principal Researcher Team Leader for its Crops and Agroforestry Research Team. The post will report to the Deputy Director and be responsible for all areas of the programme including delivery, development and dissemination of the research as well as management and development of staff.
The candidate would possess a PhD or equivalent experience in crop/agricultural sciences or plant ecology with a good understanding of crop agronomy. An understanding of ecological genetics or crop breeding would be desirable, as well as a track record of scientific and conference publications, experience working within international research consortia and project or programme management. Experience of staff management would also be desirable. Excellent communication skills, both oral and written, are vital.
The successful candidate would be based at the Organic Research Centre’s Elm Farm site in Berkshire but must be prepared to travel regularly to our Wakelyns Agroforestry site in Suffolk and also elsewhere in the UK and other EU countries.
Applications must be on the ORC application form. Further details and the application form can be obtained here or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please quote reference RES1302.
Further information on ORC can be obtained here.
Closing date for application: 9am 7 March. Interviews will be held at ORC, Elm Farm, Berkshire on Thursday 21 March.
Start Date: 1 March 2013
Based in: Enschede, the Netherlands
The Water Footprint Network (WFN) is a dynamic, international, continuous learning community with hundreds of partners worldwide committed to promoting sustainable, equitable and efficient water use through the advancement of the Water Footprint. Established in 2008 with partners from academia, NGOs, international organisations and business sectors, WFN is a fast growing organization at the cutting edge of the methodology, data, tools and application of the water footprint concept and Water Footprint Assessment. Currently the Water Footprint Network is seeking a Knowledge Exchange and Engagement Officer (m/f). For more information on WFN, click here.
The Knowledge Exchange and Engagement Officer will directly assist the Executive Director on key projects focused on improving and expanding face-to-face and virtual communications, consultations and engagement with WFN partners, stakeholders, practitioners and the general public and, in this way, will strengthen the delivery of each of the above activities in the work programme.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
- Improve and expand our online presence including revision and management of WFN website and social media
- Facilitate timely knowledge exchange and dissemination through establishment of a virtual platform, face-to-face events and publications
- Provide regular communications with partners and interested parties through newsletters, Annual Reports, outreach and targeted consultations
- Develop consistency in corporate identity in all communications and training materials
- Assist development of a five year strategic plan
- Growing technical advisory talent in-house
The position is offered initially for one year, with possible extension. The job will be located at the University of Twente in Enschede, The Netherlands.
Information and application
For the complete job posting, click here. Your written application, provided with a CV and three references should be submitted no later than January 28, 2013 by e-mail to
email@example.com with reference to the vacancy “Knowledge Exchange and Engagement Officer”.
The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has announced a new entry scheme for advisers (DESA), providing an opportunity to launch a career in development as a technical adviser in DFID.
The 2013 scheme will open for applications on 17 December and close on 25 January at 12 midnight (GMT).
Places are available in the following cadres in 2013: Climate and Environment; Education; Evaluation; Governance; Humanitarian; Infrastructure; Livelihoods; Private Sector Development; and Social Development.
To be eligible for the scheme you must be one of the following:
- A UK national
- A national of a member state of the European Economic Area (EEA)
- A Swiss national
- A Commonwealth citizen with an indefinite right to remain in the UK without employment restrictions
To apply for any of the posts, visit the UK Civil Services Jobs website.
The Beef and Lamb All-Party Parliamentary Group is conducting an inquiry into the carbon footprint of the beef cattle and sheep sector and would welcome input from your organisation. The objective of the inquiry is to examine methodologies currently used to calculate the carbon footprint of the sector in the UK and globally; and how this data is used to inform measures being taken to reduce emissions.
Measuring the carbon footprint of beef cattle and sheep is complex and the science is continually evolving. As more data becomes available and our understanding of the overall picture of carbon emissions becomes more complete, it is important that areas such as the carbon sequestration benefits of grazing livestock systems are considered as part of the debate and recognised in current policy.
Findings from the inquiry will help give MPs, industry, policymakers and NGOs a more accurate picture of where there are gaps in research or requirements to change existing methodologies. This will help inform the measures being taken by the beef, cattle and sheep sector to reduce emissions.
The APPG invites all interested parties to address the following matters in writing by 1 February 2013:
- How is the carbon footprint of beef cattle and sheep farming measured currently?
- What variations are there in the carbon footprint of different production systems, and to what extent are these taken into account in the way the overall footprint of the industry is calculated and reported?
- Is there a standardised and accepted methodology globally?
- Are there externalities which should be included in calculations?
- What are the challenges to calculating the carbon footprint and what can government, industry and NGOs do to overcome them?
- To what extent is alternative land use and carbon sequestration factored in to calculations and to what extent should it be?
- Where are the gaps in scientific research in this area and how can government best focus its research funding in this field?
Organisations wishing to submit evidence should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please limit your response to four (A4) pages.
EdX, a not-for-profit enterprise of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is offering a free online course entitled “Human Health and Global Environmental Change. The course description is as follows:
One of the greatest challenges of our time is to address global environmental changes, such as climate change and biodiversity loss, that may harm the health of billions of people worldwide. This class will examine these changes, their causes, as well as their health consequences, and engage students in thinking about their solutions.
For more information, click here. In order to register you need to Sign up with an account at edX.
The Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards (LEGS) Project is seeking a consultant to prepare a Briefing Paper on climate change and livestock responses in emergencies, to feed into the preparation of the second edition of the LEGS handbook. LEGS is a set of international guidelines for livelihoods-based livestock responses in emergencies. The LEGS handbook was published in 2009 and since then the LEGS Project has rolled out a training programme and has become accredited as a companion to the Sphere handbook. The second edition of the handbook is due to be published in 2014, following broad consultation and feedback. The objective of the Briefing Paper is to provide detailed recommendations for the LEGS Steering Group regarding how climate change issues can be better represented in the revised edition of the LEGS handbook. The consultancy will take up to 8 days and focus on a literature review supported by key informant interviews. The consultant should have a background and at least 5 years’ experience in humanitarian response; excellent understanding of environmental issues; and excellent writing skills.
For further details please see the LEGS website or contact the LEGS Coordinator: Coordinator@livestock-emergency.net. Interested parties should submit their CV and a brief technical proposal (max 1 page) outlining their suggested methodology and timeline to the LEGS Coordinator by 8 February 2013.
FCRN member Fahd Rasul is inviting other members in our network to collaborate on submitting a research grant proposal to the Global Development Network on the theme of food security. The call is deliberately aimed at encouraging collaboration among researchers and focusing on issues that are of relevance to more than one region. GDN write the following about the Global Research Competition (GRC):
“Applications for the GRC grants are invited from cross-country/inter-regional teams of up to four early-career researchers (one principal researcher plus one or more research collaborator). GDN leverages an advanced online platform to support the cross-country/inter-regional team formation.”
Fahd Rasul is working as assistant professor, Agro-Climatology Lab at University of Agriculture in Faisalabad Pakistan. Fahd sees an opportunity for an interdisciplinary team of FCRN members to produce a developing-country focused proposal related to food and climate.
For more information about the research grant and the call for proposals, please visit the GDN website. Fahd can be reached via his FCRN member profile where you can send direct messages. You can also contact him via e-mail here.
This fully funded doctoral studentship is based at University of Essex’s department of sociology and is due to start in January 2014 The focus is the ‘the food-energy-climate change trilemma’.
Deadline: Fri 4 October 2013 (4pm).
The London International Development Centre (LIDC) is seeking a Research and Policy Manager to collect, analyse and synthesise research relating to agriculture, nutrition and health for the Secretariat to the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition.
The Secretariat will support the Panel and organise Panel meetings and other Panel activities. It will conduct desk-based research, prepare documentation and publications and develop and manage a website for the Panel. It will have a key role in communicating the findings of the Panel internationally. The Secretariat will comprise a full-time Coordinator, a full-time Research and Policy Manager and a part-time Communications Officer. These staff will work closely with the LIDC management team, Panel members, Panel funding bodies, LCIRAH and other Panel stakeholders.
The ideal candidate will have experience in working on agriculture, nutrition or health in an international development context, and will have produced high quality policy briefs, reports, scientific publications, or popular materials that synthesise evidence for a policy audience.
This is a two and a half year appointment with the possibility of extension for several months.
Application deadline: Thursday 02 January, 2014
ead the job description and application details here.
The University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, wishes to appoint a Global Policy Engagement Manager for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) from 1 February 2014 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position is for the period 1 February 2014 – 31 December 2015.
The Global Policy Engagement Manager coordinates the implementation of the CCAFS global policy engagement strategy under the supervision of the CCAFS Head of Research. Core functions include: management of selected CCAFS external partnerships at the global level; management of global projects on policy research and on engagement for policy impact; management of global-level capacity enhancement projects; production of non-academic policy research outputs and communications; co-management of CCAFS inputs to global processes and events; participation in the teamwork of the CCAFS Coordinating Unit, including close liaison with the CCAFS Communications and Knowledge Manager, team meetings, budget management, monitoring and annual reporting.
Application deadline: Wednesday, January 1, 2014.
The job details can be found at CCAFS website here, where you can also find details on how to apply and who you can turn to with questions.
The Farm Carbon Cutting Toolkit (FCCT)offers this position for working 2 days/week with flexible working hours/home based, for a period of six months. The payment rate is £100/day and the contract type is as self-employed.
Deadline: Applications close 31st December.
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK have come together under the auspices of the Global Food Security programme, to jointly fund four to six research grants relating to understanding the challenges of the food system. Joint funding of up to £1.87 million at 100 per cent full economic costing (fEC) is available for this call.
The UK food system is embedded in a wider system that is increasingly globalised and seemingly prone to periodic scares and crises. The FSA and ESRC have identified an area of mutual interest around the challenges that this presents to the UK agri-food system, food safety, food fraud/crime and consumer trust. The funders are keen to support research around the safety and confidence effects of different approaches to food provision, supply chain management and organisation, and how any findings might lead to policy interventions and influence consumer, regulator and industry behaviours.
Deadline for proposals: 16.00, 30 January 2014.
Read more about the call and sumbmission of proposals here.
You can aslo browse through our website for a list of funding calls, jobs and other opportunities here.
The Fellowship is specifically targeted at next-generation social entrepreneurs committed to working on innovations in mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Echoing Green Fellowship Programs identify promising social entrepreneurs with bold ideas and provides them with up to $90,000 in seed funding, strategic support, and a powerful network.
To guide your application, Echoing Green has put together a list of resources which you will find here. You can access the application form here and note that the deadline for applications 11:59 am EST on January 6, 2014.
The 2014 Climate Fellowship will be awarded to individuals or partners representing up to ten organizations who will receive:
- A stipend of $80,000 for individuals (or $90,000 for two-person partnerships) paid in four equal installments over two years
- A health insurance stipend
- A yearly professional development stipend
- Leadership development and networking gatherings
- Access to technical support and pro bono partnerships to help grow their organization and a dedicated Echoing Green portfolio manager
- A community of like-minded social entrepreneurs and public service leaders, including the Echoing Green network of nearly 600 Fellows at Large working all over the world.
Read more here.
University of Göttingen, is offering 12 Docotral research positions within the Research Training Group “Transformation of Global Agri-Food Systems” (GlobalFood) funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
Screening of applications will begin on 15 December 2013 and will end when the positions are filled. Applications are only accepted through the Online Application Portal.
To read more about the required qualifications and the application process, click here.
SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) and ILRI (The International Livestock Research Institute) are seeking candidates for a PhD that will identify ways of reducing the carbon footprint of African cattle through improved productivity.
This studentship will contribute to the development of GHG mitigation strategies by:
• Adapting an existing livestock life-cycle analysis model for use in African cattle systems.
• Quantifying the mitigation potential of livestock productivity interventions in smallholder livestock production systems in East and West Africa
• Contributing to the development and promotion of a decision support tool for use by stakeholders to identify nationally (or locally) appropriate GHG mitigation actions.
Application deadline: 17th January 2014. Read more about the position and the application process here.
The Ecological Land Co-operative (ELC) The ELC is a social enterprise and Industrial & Provident Society. It was set up to provide affordable sites for ecological land-based livelihoods in the UK. The ELC are now hiring a part-time Membership and Office Manager responsible for delivering a programme of member engagement activities and a wide range of enquiries and issues related to office administration. The manager will also be responsible for every aspect of the smooth running of the office, from managing facilities to administrative systems and HR processes.
The ELC also publishes research on the financial viability of small-scale ecological livelihoods and is located in the Lewes, East Sussex.
The Fife Diet is a local food movement and a consumer network of people interested in local food. The Fife Diet project aims to reduce CO2 equivalent emissions associated with food consumption. They are now looking for an experienced project coordinator interested in managing and coordinating key work streams. The position entails overseeing project finance and administration as well as engaging with partners and the community.
Details: 22.5h, 3 days per week, £28,000 per annum, pro rata, fixed term 31/03/2015.
Deadline application: 9 am Friday 24th of January.
As part of the report elaboration process, the The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) is now launching an open electronic consultation on the V0 Draft of the study, submitted by the HLPE Steering Committee for public feedback and comments. To participate to the e-Consultation, either visit the HLPE e-Consultation Platform or send an e-mail here. Contributions by individuals or by institutions are welcome in English, French and Spanish. The deadline for submitting comments has now been extended until 31 January 2014.
At the request of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) the HLPE is now launching an inquiry on critical and/or emerging issues in the area of food security and nutrition, to inform the work of the CFS. Organizations and experts are called to identify some of the most important current and emerging issues related to food and nutrition security for which actions are needed. In order to contribute, visit the HLPE dedicated page where you may find all information. Contributions by individuals or by institutions are welcome in English, French and Spanish. Public feedback and comments can be sent until 15 March 2014.
Download the accompanying report drafts for the consultation and the inquiry and read more here.
The Fife diet is looking for a researcher to produce a case study report on the impact of the Fife school lunch project, a collaboration between the Fife Diet, the Soil Association and Fife Council. The research would focus on the economic benefits and the wider impact of the local food movement in Fife region.
The school meals project is a one-year pilot combining local and organic sourcing. The project launched in October 2013 and the first phase will end in October 2014. It involves 5 primary, one secondary and one nursery school in the Kirkland cluster.
Deadline: 9 am Friday 14th of February
The Zurich-Basel Plant Science Centre administers the international fellowships program, PLANT FELLOWS. The partners in PLANT FELLOWS are 23 host organizations in Europe and internationally (including Brazil, China, India, South Africa). The program invites applications for post-doc fellowships worldwide in all fields of plant science.
PLANT FELLOWS is open to applicants from all over the world and all fields of research in plant sciences are eligible. European and international universities and research institutes as well as industry partners have been approved as host organisations on the basis of their excellence in higher education and plant research.
The application deadline is 31 March 2014.
Read more and apply here.
This scientific meeting will be held between 19-20 May 2014 in Madrid, Spain. It will provide a platform for discussions on the challenges faced by the livestock sector in an effort to efficiently enhance its contribution to sustainable food supply in the context of climate variability. The conference is global in its scope and its main topics will include:
- Balance between animal food supply and demand over the course of the century according to a range of storylines;
- Impacts of climate change, including climatic variability and extremes, on livestock production and pastures;
- Emissions and removals of GHGs associated to livestock production systems and to grassland soils and their possible changes in the future;
- Adaptation to climate change of the livestock sector;
- Mitigation of GHG emissions from the livestock sector;
- Contribution of the livestock sector to global and regional food security
CIAT The International Center for Tropical Agriculture is looking for a qualified scientist in Agricultural Modelling, who can provide intellectual leadership, abilities to develop an active and progressive research agenda for the group, with proven track record in modelling, broad knowledge of modelling approaches (particularly for agriculture) and a strong publication record.
Read more here.
This is a position as Post doctoral environmental scientist for CIAT
The International Center for Tropical Agriculture. The Post-doctoral Environmental Scientist will primarily support ecosystem services quantification, mapping and modeling component of the project “Managing ecosystem services for food security and the nutritional health of the rural poor at the forest-agricultural interface” in Colombia and Peru.
Read more here.
The UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism is offering eight $10,000 postgraduate Food and Farming Journalism Fellowships in a new program established by Michael Pollan, the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. Aimed at early and mid career journalists, the Fellowship presents an opportunity to report ambitious long form stories on the full range of subjects under the rubric of food systems: agricultural and nutritional policy, the food industry, food science, technology and culture, rural and urban farming, agriculture and the environment (including climate change), global trade and supply chains, consolidation and securitization of the food system and public health as it relates to food and farming.
For more information, see here.
CCAFS is seeking a consultant, possibly an individual who has recently completed a relevant PhD and has carried out operations research, to develop/adapt and evaluate decision support tools, and demonstrate their application at different scales in South Asia. Tools and methods are needed that can assist different stakeholders prioritize and hence take appropriate strategic interventions to transform South Asian agriculture to being climate-resilient, efficient and adaptive at different scales. This position is based at the IWMI office, New Delhi, India and is for a period of one year.
Read more about the position and how to apply here.
The incumbent will work with the decision engagement and analytics team at ICRAF and beyond to develop methods for targeting interventions under uncertainty, and for projecting likely impacts of such interventions. This will be achieved using probabilistic modeling, Bayesian networks and other similar approaches that do not rely on purely deterministic models of farmer reality.
Read more about the position and how to apply here.
WorldFish is a Partner Center of the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in collaboration with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA). The Livestock and Fish Program works to sustainably increase the productivity, availability and affordability of meat, milk and fish by and for the poor, and is structured around six Themes: Animal Health, Genetics, Feeds, Value Chains, Targeting Sustainable Intensification, and Gender & Learning.
WorldFish oversees the Program’s fish related value chain and technology development research and is now seeking a highly motivated, dynamic, and experienced individual to head up the Livestock and Fish effort in Bangladesh.
Read more about the position and how to apply here.
A research associate is being sought to work on a diverse, collaborative project on beneficial management practices for greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation from agro-ecosystems in Western Canada. The position is based at the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario in a new and innovative unit, SEED, which is committed to education, research and training in environmentally responsible business and development. The Associate will work on developing databases for life cycle assessment (LCA) for cropping and animal systems and will produce life cycle models on the impacts of best management practices for reducing greenhouse gases from Canadian beef production.
Read more about the position and how to apply here.
Palm oil represents today more than 30% of the global vegetable oil demand. It is emblematic of the challenges faced by agriculture, which must provide food, feed and fuel, but also be a vector of development while preserving the environment. The objective of the Ph.D. project is to improve the accuracy of LCA on palm oil systems by improving the modelling of field Nr-emissions. This modelling must be consistent (accounting for the whole N-balance along the whole perennial cycle), sensitive to local conditions and practices, and easily implementable. Hence, the main track will be to develop an operational model, such as an agro-environmental indicator, and to analyse the propagation of its uncertainty along the LCA characterisation pathways.
Working places include ⋅ Montpellier (France), Cirad, Field work in Sumatra (Indonesia) (1/3 time period) as well as stays in Paris (France) and Cairns (Australia).
For more information see here.
The Wellcome Trust is seeking interdisciplinary research proposals for pilot projects that look to address health and sustainability challenges, specifically at the nexus between health, nutrition and the environment.
They are particularly interested in projects relating to two sub-themes highlighted by scoping work on, first of all the health impacts of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures and secondly the issue of how to feed 9 billion.
Projects outside of these areas but relevant to Sustaining Health in other ways are also welcomed. Proposals should be designed to open up new research avenues, ultimately leading to work that will have a significant impact on human health.
The Trust particularly encourage applications from cross-sector collaborations involving academic organisations, industry/business, non-governmental organisations and/or government agencies. Applicants may be based anywhere in the world. As general guidance, awards are in the order of £250,000, exceptionally up to £500,000.
For more information see here.
Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming is seeking a Food Policy Director (maternity cover). The chosen candidate would join Sustain management team, to help run the organisation’s work.
The Fabian Society is seeking to recruit a Researcher or Senior Researcher to drive forward their programme of policy research. They are seeking someone who is highly entrepreneurial, with the ability to form influential relationships, secure funding for projects and achieve impact for their research. It expects excellent skills in desk-based policy research and report writing, an understanding of social research methods and expert knowledge in at least one field of social, economic or environmental policy.
The researcher will work on projects within five core programmes:
- Next State: Public finances in tough times and a new ‘statecraft’
- Next Economy: Restoring growth and building a fairer economy
- Environment & Citizenship: Sustainable consumption, public attitudes and fairness
- Labour’s Next Majority: An electoral and political strategy for the left
- Britain and the World: Choices, strategy and values for EU and foreign policy
Read the full job description here.
Coventry University is looking to employ a research fellow in agroecological livestock systems. The successful candidate will develop and manage national and international research projects on agroecological livestock systems, that complement the Centre’s existing and on- going work on agroecological cropping systems, with a focus on holistic grazing management, agrosilvopastoral systems, nutrition and health, and other integrative and participatory approaches that address issues of climate change, resilience and food security.
Read more about the position here.
FCRN is inviting applications from students/researchers interested in undertaking a detailed analysis of FCRN’s online communication and engagement/networking activities, in developing a user-friendly methodology for measuring their impact, and in suggesting strategies for improving and strengthening the effectiveness, reach and impact of the FCRN as a network.
The main idea is to take FCRN and its online community as a case study. Drawing upon social network theory/analysis and related approaches you will therefore focus on: developing a methodology for assessing our reach and effectiveness; analysing our current ‘state of play’ impact and suggesting useful approaches to improving our work.
While of intellectual interest in its own right, this work will be of great practical use to us at the FCRN. The FCRN is looking to improve our communications and networking activities - ultimately with a view to helping catalyse the informed interactions needed that can help foster a more sustainable food system. This analysis of our functioning as a network will enable us to understand what we do well, and where we can do better to deliver more, and more useful impact.
We envisage that the post would suit someone enrolled in a PhD or Masters programme for whom this work would constitute a case-study input to their thesis/dissertation. The research could also be suitable for someone with an interest in these issues who is not currently enrolled in an academic programme although note that this is an unpaid position.
You will have experience in working with social network analysis together with some knowledge of food sustainability issues and of the different stakeholders in this area. In addition to social network analysis, other concepts/approaches you may be familiar with and wish to draw upon include: action research, communication strategy, advocacy, social movements, theory of change, program management and implementation, organization learning, and change management.
This work could form part of your studies and could add value not only to your thesis/dissertation but also result in the production of an FCRN report (widely circulated) and a paper for submission to a peer reviewed journal. You will have full access to the FCRN history, experience and resources and will be fully supported by FCRN staff.
Timings and deadline: to be discussed
Supervision and feedback: Food Climate Research Network core team: Tara Garnett - FCRN lead, John Jackson website manager and Marie Persson communication and network development officer.
To apply: send an email to Marie Persson with a copy of your CV and cover letter explaining your suitability for the post and how you fulfil the selection criteria. Please write "Social Network Analyst Application" in the email title. Feel free to write to Marie for any questions regarding the post.
Deadline: 27th September 2015
The FCRN is looking for interns to evaluate and develop the networking functions of the website. Do you have an interest in food system sustainability and want to gain some practical work experience in this field? Do you want to get an in depth view of the workings of a global online network and contribute to analyse challenges of online collaboration and networking? We are looking for people who have a diversity of experiences – both people with technical experience working with websites (using website tools focused on design and functionality) as well as people who are more familiar with communications and how networks and online interactions function. We thus also welcome people who are relatively new to working with websites and who can therefore contribute a beginner’s-eye view and an ‘outsider’s perspective.
Example of tasks interns will assist with:
- Testing and evaluating the networking pages of the website. This includes testing particular functions of the website (member messaging, forum posts, profile creation, bookmarking resources etc.)
- Contacting individual members directly, carrying out mini-surveys of the membership and gathering feedback from members as well as informing members about various networking possibilities.
- Analysing the membership and suggesting ways of linking members with particular interests - matchmaking.
- Remuneration: Unpaid positions
- Application: Please send your application outlining your interests, relevant experiences and your general suitability for the position in no more than 1 page to Marie Persson. Feel free to write to her for any questions regarding the posts.
- Timings: 6 hours a week for about three months (October-December)
- Deadline to apply: 27 September 2015.
- Supervision and feedback will be given by the Food Climate Research Network core team: Tara Garnett – FCRN lead, John Jackson website manager and Marie Persson communication and network development officer. We look forward to your application.
Applications are invited for a fixed-term appointment as Lecturer Below the Bar (Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security). The Lecturer will have primary responsibilities for coordinating, lecturing, supervising research and driving growth, impact and international reputation of (a) the inter-disciplinary 1 year Masters degree in Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (MScCCAFS) in collaboration with the global CCAFS program and other partners; (b) the inter-disciplinary 2 year Masters degree in Climate Change, Agriculture and Transitions (MScACT) in collaboration with five EU universities and other partners.
Salary: €36,230 to €56,782
For informal enquiries, please contact Prof. Charles Spillane, Email email@example.com or telephone: +353 (0)86 7963624
For more information and application Form please see this website.
Feedback – which describes itself as a ‘fast-growing, hard-hitting, award-winning campaigning organisation’ – is seeking an Executive Director to help shape and implement their strategy to transform the global food system and end food waste.
This post is offered on a 4 or 5 days per week basis. Salary: £50,000 – £55,000 + pension for 5 days per week. Pro rata for 4 days per week.
This project will take a repeated cross-sectional approach to exploring the evolution of dietary habits in England. The National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) is a rich dataset that collects detailed diet data annually since 2008. Prior to this, other national surveys such as the National Food Survey (1940-2000), Family Expenditure Survey (2001-2008) collected similar data on food purchasing and consumption. The aim is to take these datasets and use small-area estimation methods to model patterns of food consumption across local authority districts in England over time, with a view to exploring the impact of diet on key public health outcomes (such as obesity, type two diabetes, hypertension).
Previous research has studied diet in selected populations, in local areas, however, this will be the first national model of dietary habits and change. The results will be explored with attention given to the local environments, to consider the possible impact of retail change or other interventions on population-level diet. These results may identify scenarios that are more beneficial for population health, by modifying the variables that are shown to influence diet choice and estimating the impact on local population diet, and by extension, population health.
Candidates must have or expect to gain a first or strong upper second class degree, in an appropriate discipline, not necessarily Geography. Details on how to apply are available from Julie Drewitt, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Informal enquiries may be made to Dianna Smith (email email@example.com). For the latest information on postgraduate opportunities within Geography and Environment, please visit the website at here.
Read more and apply here.
The Stockholm Resilience Centre is looking for a Research Fellow, who will focus on scenarios for the Sustainable Development Goals. He/she will be working in an international and interdisciplinary team based in Stockholm. The role is to lead research, help coordinate, and contribute insights and perspectives on pathways to attain the SDGs within planetary boundaries.
The position is appointed primarily for purposes of research, and has a strong component of interactions with policy and practice. Researchers must hold a doctoral degree.
For more information, look here.
The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition has a vacancy for a policy research officer to collate, analyse and help to synthesise research on the links between agriculture, nutrition and health. Candidates should have a postgraduate degree or equivalent experience in nutrition or food systems, experience of literature searches and research synthesis, and skills in writing, proofreading and fact-checking.
View more details here. The deadline is 27 July 2018.
Startups focused on the “triple bottom line” of people, profit and planet are invited to pitch to an audience of investors, industry leaders, media and entrepreneurs at the FoodBytes! event in New York on 18 October 2018. Startups will have the chance to win awards in several categories and receive one-to-one access to industry experts during a mentor and rehearsal day.
For more details, see here. The application deadline is 12 August 2018.
Roots Education Review, a biannual magazine for botanic garden and museum educators produced by the UK’s Botanic Gardens Conservation International, is inviting contributions on food security. Articles can be case studies, educational resources or profiles of volunteers.
Contributions are particularly welcome from educators and other staff from botanic garden, museums and related organisations about how these institutions are engaging the public with food, where it comes from and how to ensure global access to a sufficient, nutritious and sustainable supply now and in the future.
For more details, see here. The deadline for abstract submission is 15 August 2018.
Green Lab - a London-based workspace for individuals and organisations that are designing sustainable solutions to complex urban food, water and waste challenges - has opened applications for a 12-week research residency for early initiatives and startups. Green Lab is offering workspace, an events space, access to workshops with tools such as 3D printers, and a mentor and investor network.
For more details, see here. The application deadline is 15 August 2018.
The Atkinson Centre for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University has postdoctoral fellowships available for four researchers, to work with an external organisation within the theme of building resilient rural-urban systems. Topics can include increasing food security, reducing climate risks, accelerating energy transitions and achieving both human health and planetary health.
Candidates should have a PhD and propose a project that has the potential to implement sustainable solutions to world needs.
The Centre for Regional Studies at Karlstad University, Sweden, has a vacancy for a postdoctoral researcher in regional studies to work with other researchers on several projects around the theme of forest-based bioeconomy (more details on the projects are available here). Job responsibilities will include performing a comparative study of three to four European regions, developing international contacts, writing funding applications and preparing publications.
Candidates should have a PhD and research experience in at least one of the following areas: regional innovation systems, smart specialisation, transition processes and sustainable development, bioeconomy and/or circular economy.
For more details, see here. The application deadline is 31 August 2018.
The UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has announced a call for funding for interdisciplinary research proposals to address the challenges spanning the agriculture-nutrition-health interfaces relating to food and nutrition research for health in the developing world. The call is funded by the UK government’s Global Challenges Research Fund.
For more details, see here. The application deadline is 11 September 2018.
The UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has announced a a call for funding for collaborative proposals to address research challenges relating to the sustainable intensification of agricultural systems in developing countries.
The call is funded by the UK government’s Global Challenges Research Fund. Proposals must be led by a UK-based principal investigator, in partnership with co-investigators from a Development Assistance Committee listed country (see the list here).
For more details, see here. The application deadline is 19 September 2018.
Hanoi, Vietnam 3-7 September 2012.
The Second Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change co-organized by Viet Nam and the Netherlands, in close collaboration with other partners, including FAO and the World Bank will look at strategies and practices that can take this comprehensive approach. The conference will allow global leaders, practitioners, private sector, scientists, and civil society to share experiences and demonstrate how early action on Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) can act as a driver of green growth. It will also be an opportunity to take stock of implementation of CSA since the First Global Conference in November 2010.
The deadline for registrations is 20 August 2012. For more information see here.
This conference should be an interesting event for anyone involved in Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D). GCARD2 will focus on the ways to implement the tasks identified in the GCARD RoadMap with special attention on making an impact on small-holder livelihoods. If you are not able to participate in person, you can join close to 1,000 others expected to participate remotely, through webcasting and social reporting.
See the GCARD website for more information.
This seminar will discuss how and why the ‘landscape’ view has risen in importance within discussions on sustainability, resilience, improved agriculture and climate change. This view is particularly evident in large parts of the developing world where landscapes are heterogenic in character and the sectorial divisions of agricultural, pastoral and forestry land use are less evident. The one-day seminar is hosted by the Swedish International Agricultural Network Initiative (SIANI), Focali, and Naturskyddsföreningen.
For more information on the programme and how to register please visit the SIANI website.
Traditionally managed hay meadows full of flowers, insects and other animal life are among the most biodiverse places in Europe and a source of joy, inspiration and beauty to everybody. Yet they continue to disappear, through abandonment, intensification or conversion to other uses. Two events in November seek to highlight the importance of these areas.
On 6 November, there will be a film screening of Mountain hay meadows: hotspots of biodiversity and traditional culture at DG Agri, LOI 130 – 11th floor room A in Brussels from 13:00-15:00.
On 8 November from 9:30-11:00am, a policy seminar on Europe’s hay meadows will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels.
For more information about these two events, click here.
The Global Food Security Programme is running a free one day workshop on 22 November at the Science Museum in London to bring together communications and public engagement professionals working in agriculture, food and food-related research. Sessions will include talks from speakers, workshop discussions on developing stories for consumer, trade, print and broadcast media, and advice on handling challenging food-related stories.
For more information, click here.
This event, hosted by the Society of Chemical Industry’s BioResources Group is intended to be the first in a series of events exploring solutions for raising water use efficiency and delivering ‘more crop per drop.’
For more information, click here.
The International Urban Food Network (IUFN) is hosting its first international research forum on urban food governance, on 6-7 December in Paris. Hungry City 2012: Feeding the City of Tomorrow will bring people together to explore issues relating to sustainable development and food security in cities.
For more information, click here.
The Royal Geographic Society along with IBG will be hosting The Energy Water Food Stress Nexus, a continuation of their series of discussions of 21st century challenges. The talk will be held at the Society's headquarters in South Kensington, London on 12 December.
For more information, click here.
The International Council for Science (ICSU), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the International Social Science Council (ISSC) are inviting applications for participation in their Young Scientists Networking Conference on Integrated Science. The ISSC and ICSU, in collaboration with the DFG, are planning to assemble a large group of young researchers with diverse research perspectives to reflect on the Future Earth theme of Food Futures and debate relevant issues as part of a series of conferences on Integrated Science. The conference will take place at Lake Como, Italy, from 14-19 April, 2013.
The Networking Conference is open to post-doctoral researchers interested in the collaboration between the social and the natural sciences. The closing date for applications is 14 December.
For more information, click here.
The Organic Research Centre is hosting their annual Organic Producers’ Conference on 22-23 January, 2013. The purpose of this conference is to bring together organic and other producers interested in ecological approaches to sustainable food production.
For more information, click here.
The Warwick Climate Forum invites students and academics alike to reflect upon, discuss and take action in areas concerning climate change and the environment. It is an annual conference produced by Warwick Hub and People & Planet and is held at the University of Warwick.
This year the event will focus on whether or not we can ‘fix’ climate change, looking at technology’s role in the struggle. Speakers include: Chris Goodall (Guardian correspondent, author of Ten Technologies to Save the Planet and Sustainability: All That Matters), Danny Chivers (Author and Slam Poet) and Stuart Parkinson (Scientists for Global Responsibility).
For further information about the conference and the speakers visit the website.
On Tuesday 13 November, 12:30 - 13:30 Central European Time [Convert Time Zone], the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) will, together with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), organize a live streamed science seminar with presenter Dr. Mario Herrero, based at ILRI. The seminar will discuss mitigation potentials in the livestock sector. There is potential in mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from livestock, and different ways to go about it. After the initial session, participants viewing the seminar online will be getting an opportunity to ask questions to the presenter via the chat. The presentation will be live streamed to a global audience.
View the seminar here.
The seminar will also be recorded and uploaded on the CGIAR website.
The Lancet, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and the University of Washington are holding a launch event to discuss the results of the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study on 14 December, 2012 at The Royal Society, London, UK. This free one day event is open to the public and will feature five panel sessions with the opportunity for open discussion of key findings and implications.
For more information see here.
The European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics (EurSafe) is hosting EurSafe 2013 on 11-14 September in Uppsala, Sweden with the theme “The Ethics of Consumption – The Citizen, The Market, and The Law.” This event is an international forum for discussion of ethical issues at the intersection between social, economic and legal aspects of consumption of food and agricultural products. In addition to papers related to the conference themes, general contributions to agricultural and food ethics are also welcome. Abstracts are accepted for oral or poster presentation – the deadline is January 1st, 2013.
For more information about the event here.
For information about submitting abstracts see here.
The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London is hosting a guest lecture by Colin Trudge (biologist, writer, and co-founder of the Campaign for Real Farming) on 28 November at 6:30pm.
For more information, click here.
The Agricultural Economics Society (AES) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are hosting a one-day conference on 13 December 2012 at the Church House Conference Centre, Westminster, London. This conference will explore the concept of sustainable intensification – increasing UK agricultural production in ways that protect the environment, and consider mechanisms for identifying and achieving this objective.
For more information, click here.
For more on sustainable intensification, see this report produced by FCRN and the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food.
Green Templeton College in Oxford is hosting a series of lectures entitled Feeding a Better Future in which the global food crisis - covering food policy, malnutrition and the importance of diet and nutrition - will be explored by four experts in the field. The lectures, which are free and open to the public, will include:
For more information, click here.
Debate 2: Smallholder Farming and the Future of Food
28 January – 7pm, Kings Place, London
Chaired by Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food
Speakers include: Dr. Marion Guillou, President INRA, France; Professor Judi Wakhungu, African Centre for Technology Studies, Kenya; and Sam Dryden, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Themes to be explored at this second debate include: smallholder farming and productivity; Food production and sustainable livelihoods; Agricultural intensification and expansion of cultivation; High-yielding agriculture and ‘land sparing’.
For more information on this event, click here.
Meeting the challenges of food security: implementing the Green Food Project, innovation, biodiversity and land use – Tuesday 5 March 2013, Central London
Following the Green Food Project, which considered the balance of competitiveness, food security, and the protection of the natural environment, this seminar will look at the priorities for domestic and international land use. Delegates at this seminar will discuss the extent to which the Green Food Project recommendations could meet the core challenges set by the Foresight Report on the future of food and farming, meeting global food demand without the use of substantially more land and without detrimentally impacting the environment. Planned sessions focus on the next steps towards creating a consensus on climate smart agriculture, international land use and the valuation of eco-systems to food production.
Guest speakers include Professor Tim Benton (Professor of Population Ecology, University of Leeds), Tara Garnett from FCRN, and Karen Morgan (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).
For more on this event, click here.
UK Food Waste Policy: the Waste Prevention Programme, Courtald Commitment 3 and the future of energy recovery – Tuesday 21 May 2013, Central London
This seminar will bring out the latest thinking on the priorities for reducing waste in the food and drink industry. Discussion is expected to include consideration of whether more needs to be done to change consumer behaviour, an update on the development of anaerobic digestion plants in the UK, and an examination of the potential for both small- and large-scale AD to further contribute to the UK’s energy mix.
For more information on this event, click here.
The 3rd Annual Conference of the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH) will take place on 13-14 June 2013 at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) Camden Campus in London. The conference theme is 'Developing methods in agriculture and health research'. The conference will focus on methodological and integrative aspects of research in agriculture and health. It will feature the work of researchers in nutrition, economics, anthropology, veterinary science and related fields engaged in agri-health research.
LCIRAH is a new Centre established under a five-year £3.5m grant from The Leverhulme Trust to build a new inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary platform for integrating research in agriculture and health, with a focus on international development goals.
A Travel Bursary Application is now open for applicants from non-OECD countries. The deadline for the completed application forms is 28 February 2013.
There is also a call for abstracts that fall into one of the following broad themes (deadline for submission extended to 28 February 2013).
- Climate change, food and health
- Food value chains and health
- Food-borne diseases and health
- Agriculture, changing food consumption and health
For more information, click here.
This conference will consider the next steps for reducing food waste and how waste issues are situated within broader debates about the move towards a sustainable food system. The conference will also explore whether government, businesses and other stakeholders are doing enough to address waste issues.
This seminar at the Judge Business School, Cambridge will be led by the Tropical Agriculture Association, with co-sponsorship by the Cambridge Conservation Forum (CCF), in collaboration with the Zoology Dept of Cambridge University and the Cambridge Humanitarian Centre (as part of their Global Food Futures Year).
Presentations will be made by Dr Norman Uphoff (Professor of Government & International Agriculture at Cornell University and leader of the SRI-Rice Group) and Dr Amir Kassam (FAO and Reading University). They will discuss the basic principles of agro-ecological concepts and practices and provide evidence that these approaches can reorient agriculture, in both more- and less-developed countries, to achieve greater productivity with sustainability, within the expected changed conditions due to climate change. For more information on themes and registration, please click here or contact Keith Virgo or Ben Phalan.
Professor Tim Benton, UK Champion for Global Food Security presents this Global Food Lecture and will discuss:
- To what extent we can grow more food per unit area and do it sustainably?
- What, and where is the scope for ‘sustainable intensification’ to work?
- If sustainable intensification cannot meet demand, what can we do instead?
The lecture takes place on 28 November 2013 at 7.30 pm, University of East Anglia (UEA) Lecture Theater 1.
This conference will include a panel and short presentations from some of the leading innovators of food protein including Mark Post, Maastricht University on Cultured Consumption Meat; David Berry, Flagship Ventures on Aquaculture and Photosynthetic Protein; and Gabor Forgacs, University of Missouri-Columbia, who is exploring biofrabrication of protein.
This conference is the first of a three-part series led by The Sackler Institute’s Technology and Innovation in Agriculture, Food, and Nutrition Working Group. The second conference is scheduled for March 26, 2014 and the theme is Consumer Behavior and Agricultural Innovations Related to Optimal Nutrition. The final and third conference scheduled for November 6, 2014 will focus on Food Safety Considerations for Nutrition Advances.
To read more and register for the event click here.
There will be an online event hosted in relation to the launch of the new FAO book FAO book Milk and dairy products in human nutrition. The event will focus on isues of healthy & functional dairy, December 12. DairyReporter.com and NutraIngredients.com will be joined by the likes of Fonterra, Euromonitor, Arla Foods, Roquette, The Healthy Marketing Team, Powerful Yogurt, and NIZO FoodResearch, at Healthy & Functional Dairy 2013 to discuss current market opportunities, the latest innovations and the science behind them, and development of this product category. For non industry stakeholders the event provides an interesting opportunity to find out more about how the food industry is positioning themselves in relation to dairy and to find out how far, if at all, environmental issues are included in discussions.
For more information and to register for the event click here.
This call for papers invites individuals interested in participating in the midterm European Sociological Association (ESA) consumption research network conference in Porto, Portugal on Sept 3-6, 2014. This year, the theme of the meeting is Consumption and Context: Exploring concepts and consumption processes in varying socio-cultural settings.
The deadline for abstracts: 15 February, 2014.
More information on submission of abstracts and registration can be found at the conference website here and here. You can also visit the ESA website here.
Find more resources on consumption in our research library here.
The fourth BSA Food Study Group Conference will bring together researchers, practitioners and policy makers to showcase cutting edge research and practice from within and beyond the sociology of food. Keynote speaker is Professor Lotte Holm, from the Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen.
The conference will provide a forum for the presentation of research on food and eating from sociology and other disciplines, looking at experiences in both the Global South and North.
Particular focus will be placed on the conference themes:
· The enjoyment of food, consumption preparation and eating
· Food ethics including food insecurity and waste
· Production and consumption, including global dimensions
· Procurement and institutional food
· Food health, obesity, morality
· Children’s food and breastfeeding
· Food and related policy (responses and interventions)
· Food and Public Health
Abstract Submission Deadline: Friday 14 March 2014.
The Sustainability Science Congress focuses on research related to global sustainability issues. Issues linked to food security and urbanisation are on the programme and the congress is hosted by the IARU partnership. It invites experts across disciplines and is aimed at encouraging interdisciplinary collaborations on sustainable solutions relevant for society. The congress also aims to provide a platform for science-policy interface relevant for global challenges, by targeting businesses and policy makers.
The congress is organized by the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) through a Scientific Steering Committee (SSC) and a Local Organizing Committee (LOC). It is a follow-up from the inaugural climate congress held in 2009 in conjunction with COP-15 in Copenhagen.
One of the sessions will focus on 'Feeding future generations with limited resources.
Details: Registration is open with an early bird discount until 31 March 2014. Submission of scientific contributions opens 1 January 2014 and will stay open for three months.
Read more about the conference here.
This event is dedicated to the launch of the ODI report 'Future diets - Implications for agriculture and food prices' and speakers include:
- Professor Barry M. Popkin - University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
- Steve Wiggins - ODI. Research Fellow - Agricultural Development and Policy Programme
- Dr. Roxana Valdés-Ramos - Unviersidad Autonoma del Estado de Mexico.
- Professor Tim Lang - City University London. Professor of Food Policy
- Andrew Opie - Director of Food & Sustainability, British Retail Consortium
Details: Friday 10 January, 3-5 pm, Overseas Development Institute and streamed live online
Click here to register to attend in person or view online.
The UK Global Food Security Programme (GFS) has recently undertaken an exercise to identify “Priority Research Questions for the UK Food System” to help define a research agenda for the whole UK food system and improve the system’s efficiency and effectiveness. This event provides an opportunity to discuss findings from this exercise and how they can be taken forward.
The exercise was conceived to complement other prioritisation exercises that have focused on food production. It involved a wide range of people from across the food system including those involved in different parts of the food chain (i.e. producing, processing, packaging, retailing and consuming) and others with an interest in food security and related issues (such as food affordability and consumption, nutrition, food safety and food waste). Views were sought from a number of different stakeholder groups including policy, the private sector, NGOs and advocacy groups, and academia.
This Policylab will include a short introduction to the project, reflections from expert panellists and an open discussion with participants. The discussion will focus on the findings of the project and how they can help to prioritise food system research.
Sir John Beddington FRS will open the event, Tim Benton, UK Global Food Security Programme Chamption will Chair and speakers include John Ingram, ECI Food Systems Programme Leader, Oxford University, John Casey, Vice-President R&D Unilever, Alan Hayes, Senior Sustainability Analyst, Institute of Grocery Distribution IGD, Ian Boyd, Chief Scientific Adviser, DEFRA, Sue Davies, Chief Policy Adviser, Which? and Mark Driscoll, Head of Food, Forum for the Future.
RSVP by Monday 20 January for this free event as places are limited.
Read more and register here.
This event will focus on the impacts of intensive animal agriculture on people, the planet and animals and the positive solutions available.
Among other issues, the programme will consider:
· How to feed the world sustainably - the protein puzzle
· How food consumption affects our health
· How farming can most benefit the environment
· ‘Farmageddon: The true cost of cheap meat’: by Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive, Compassion in World Farming and award-winning journalist Isabel Oakeshott.
· The Economic Case for Humane-Sustainable Farming
Date: 18 February 2014
Venue: Polak Room, Residence Palace, 155 Rue de la Loi, 1040 Brussels, Belgium
Time: 0915 coffee for 0930 Start; 1600 Finish
Registration in advance is essential
Read more and book your place here.
This conference looks at how the use of footprinting approaches – on carbon, water, land and materials - are already being successfully and practically used in business and beyond. The starting point is to measure and manage our resource use, focusing on the above four footprints. This event will bring together policy-makers, academics, campaigners and experts from business to discuss the benefits of using the footprint approach.
This approach can be used in efforts to understand how much resources are being used and what they are being used for:
- Land – the real area of land used, wherever it is in the world
- Carbon – the total amount of climate changing gases released
- Water – the total volume of water used, whether freshwater, rainwater or water polluted by the activity
- Material – the tonnage of materials used, including the ore mined in order to extract metals
This event is being held in the lead-up to an expected package of measures on resource efficiency and the circular economy that is due from the European Commission in the first half of this year.
To see the agenda and register for the conference, click here.
This conference is hosted by the Australian Society of Animal Production (ASAP) and will focus on facilitating discussion, development and exchange of knowledge on the basic and applied physiology, biochemistry and nutrition of herbivores and its interactions with animal health, welfare, production and product quality.
Visit the Conference website for more information.
Total Food 2014 is the fourth in a series of international conferences which focus on the sustainable exploitation of agri-food co-products and related biomass, thereby helping to minimise waste. Under the auspices of the Royal Society of Chemistry (Food Group), this three day event will highlight recent developments facilitate knowledge transfer between representatives of the agri-food industries, scientific research community, legal experts on food related legislation and waste management, and consumer organisations. Themes to be explored will range from the adding of value to co-products through to the recovery of energy from waste streams.
This conference will touch on all three BBSRC strategic priority areas, and as such will be of interest to many scientists. Food and related industry and agri-food chain professionals interested in maximising utilisation of co-products, whole crop use and sustainability will gain most benefit.
Abstracts are currently invited and proceedings will be published.
Read more here.
The American Center for Life Cycle Assessment, ACLCA, will host the Ninth International Life Cycle Assessment of Foods Conference globally known as LCA Foods 2014. It will unite the scientific community with food industry professionals, researches, academics and policy makers. This will be the first time the conference is held outside of Europe and more focus will therefore be placed on the sustainability of US Food systems. This conference will be held back-to-back with the LCA XIV Conference.
The Vision of the LCA of Foods Conference is to combine the scientific academic approach of the conference with an LCA-based sustainable food fair that brings together food and food packaging producers, researchers and retailers.
Topics to be Covered
- Specific aspects of the food and agriculture Industry – treatment in LCA (LCA of artificial and natural food ingredients, food production, processing and waste treatment;
- Food and agriculture system analysis and LCIA modeling (specific impact categories of the primary agriculture sector such as land use, water use, biodiversity etc.);
- Application and convergence of non-LCA modeling and databases and Life Cycle inventory and impact modeling, e.g. pesticides dispersion models and groundwater sampling results;
- The effects of food packaging systems and food waste on product life cycles, especially in the restaurant sector;
- Alternative food production technologies LCAs (such as GMOs, organic, and permaculture approaches);
- Interaction of climate change on food security and the life cycle impact of famine relief and climate adaptation strategies in global and local food systems;
- Food policy – related LCAs (LCA applied to diets or lifestyles e.g. American diet, low-income diets); connecting LCA and government sponsored healthy – eating recommendations e.g. balanced – diet mixes; vegetarian and vegan diets; IO – LCAs in the food industry;
- LCA and sustainable food systems (Eco-Labeling and communication (incl. footprinting); Economic and Societal assessment in LCA; LCA and food policy/corporate strategy; case studies).
Read more about the conference here.
The Sustainable Food Cities network is hosting a conference entitled ‘Sustainable Food Cities: putting food at the heart of local policy’. The conference will focus on how to make food more sustainable in cities across the UK.
The Sustainable Food Cities Network is an alliance of public, private and third sector organisations and it is run by a coalition of NGOs led by the Soil Association, Food Matters and Sustain and is funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. The Network aims to help people and places to share challenges, explore practical solutions and develop best practice in all aspects of sustainable food.
Details: 31st March, Brighthelm Centre, Brighton.
This workshop on Biochar will take place on 24th-27th March, 2014 at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. Pakistan. The title of the workshop is "Biochar for climate friendly agriculture: Shifting paradigms from higher precision and efficiency" and it is focused on sharing experiences from both the UK and other parts of the world. The workshop will be carried out in collaboration with the British council and Edinburgh University, UK. Participants are invited to send abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org
To know more about registration, abstract submission, the organisers and the confirmed participants please visit the workshop website here. You can also get more information and see the agenda for the workshop here.
This event will discuss the new book by Anna Simpson, editor of Green Futures, which addresses the role that brands can play in creating a more sustainable world. The book argues that the industry has yet to understand what really matters to costumers, such as desires for community, adventure, aesthetics, vitality and purpose and the book thus challenges brands to respond to a deeper consumer agenda.
Read more about the event and register here.
More information now available on International Symposium on “Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition”:
The joint FAO/WHO international symposium on “Sustainable Food Systems for Healthy Diets and Improved Nutrition” will take place at FAO Headquarters, Rome on 1-2 December 2016. The international symposium will provide a platform and opportunity to explore policies and programme options for shaping the food systems in ways that deliver foods for a healthy diet, focusing on concrete country experiences and challenges.
For further information, visit the symposium website.
Insights from new disciplines in envisioning and building a more sustainable food future
12th December, 2pm - 6pm, Dome of visions KTH, Stockholm
Update! Watch videos from the different sessions of this event on FCRN's youtube channel.
This year the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony and the Nobel Banquet in Stockholm are accompanied by a Nobel week dialogue on the theme of food and its future: Your plate - our planet. The Food Climate Research Network (FCRN) is invited to be part of this year’s dialogue and is making the most of its time in Stockholm by organising an innovative discussion that bring together different stakeholders and perspectives.
The event will focus on the ethics around sustainable food and eating practices and the possibilities of shifting consumption patterns.
We are keen to explore what more traditional research entities can learn from the design, arts and gastronomy communities about promoting and facilitating food system change and a transition to a more sustainable food future.
Gastronomers/chefs, artists, interaction designers, graphic designers, PR professionals, food innovators and others will join an open, constructive and inspiring dialogue with scientists and science communicators, to explore new ways of thinking about food sustainability and eating practices.
Dr Tara Garnett, Food Climate Research Network (University of Oxford)
Dr Elin Röös, Researcher SLU (Future Agriculture)
Dr Line Gordon, Deputy director and deputy science director, Stockholm Resilience Center
David Cuartielles co-founder of the Arduino platform and Associate Prof. at Malmö University
Roberto Flore, Head of Culinary Research and Development - Nordic Food Lab (Copenhagen)
Afton Halloran, GREEiNSECT PhD Fellow / SSHRC Doctoral Fellow (Copenhagen University)
Malin Lobell, Artist working with the arts, culture and the environment to explore the human relation to nature and the importance of plants.
Gunnar Backman, Nordisk Råvara AB (Winners of innovation agency Vinnova's competition on climate-smart protein)
Moderator for the discussions will be Per Styregård.
Arrivals and mingling 1:30- 2pm (coffee, tea and snack)
First session 2pm- 3pm: Mainstream scientific thinking - what do we know so far about what works, and what doesn’t?
This session will focus on what science and social science knows so far about the need to change diets, and the scope and limitations for doing so. What do more sustainable diets look like? What interventions and mechanisms for achieving change have been tried or are possible – from shifts in regulation, to economic instruments, voluntary and other industry agreements, labelling and public awareness raising campaigns?
Why have many of these failed or been inefficient at creating the necessary shifts? What new approaches might be worth exploring? How could new disciplines and sectors (arts, design andgastronomy) help us think differently and more innovatively about the food sustainability challenge and solutions?
Second session 3pm - 3:30 pm: What can we learn from the work of the arts and design communities and what role do they play? How have the they been thinking about sustainability as applied to food and eating patterns?
What ideas and perspectives do they bring, focused at different spatial or community scales, to the challenge of shifting consumption patterns? (How) can design-thinking and other approaches be used to facilitate dietary change for increased sustainability?
Third session 3:30 pm - 4:00 pm What can we learn from the work of the gastronomy community and what role does it play? How has the culinary sector been thinking about sustainability as applied to food and eating patterns?
What ideas and perspectives do they bring, focused at different spatial or community scales, to the challenge of shifting consumption patterns? (How) can we link food experiences/pleasure and sustainability?
Climate-smart protein break - 4:00pm - 4.30 pm. Try food from Vinnova finalist Pia Qvarnström from Mögelmat AB and Swedish tempetations.
Fourth session: 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Where to go from here?
How can we create more formalised ways of working together? Why have the arts and designcommunities been so often excluded? How can the work and insights that these disciplines bring be truly integrated into food system sustainability work so that they are equal partners in the work, rather than acting just to visualise the results or help with outreach (at the end of the research project)? What ideas for collaborations can we think of?
Who can participate?
This event is open to anyone with an interest in exploring new ways of thinking about our food system challenges and the needed shift to more sustainable eating patterns. We envisage that the event will be relevant for researchers working on food sustainability, science communicators, artists and designers with an interest in contributing to discussions on food and sustainability as well as chefs and others within the gastronomy community. Note that the venue has a limited space. Register to ensure you get a spot.
For those of you who cannot join us in Stockholm: we will film the entire event and upload it to our youtube channel. We urge you to contribute to the discussions online by using #EatDifferent hashtag on twitter.
Note that the venue has limited space and that you will need to register as soon as possible to be sure you get a spot.
Don't hesitate to get in touch with Marie Persson, Communications and network development officer at Food Climate Research Network (FCRN). Email: email@example.com Phone: +46730579099
About the organisers
The Food Climate Research Network (FCRN) is organising this event in collaboration with The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and their programme Future Agriculture, Dome of Visions at KTH and the Art and Science Initiative.
Food Climate Research Network (FCRN): The FCRN is an international and interdisciplinary network situated at the intersection of research, knowledge communication and stakeholder engagement. Adopting a food systems perspective that encompasses both production and consumption, we seek to understand and communicate the complex interactions among food, climate, and broader social, ethical and environmental issues.
Future Agriculture, SLU: The Future Agriculture programme of the Sweidsh University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) outlines future challenges and research issues connected with sustainable food production and land use. It emphasises the importance of initiating and fostering multi- and interdisciplinary research while at the same time strengthening disciplinary research within the agricultural sciences.
Dome of Visions KTH: Dome of Vision is a visionary and inspirational venue located at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm that invites to conversations around a sustainable future. Bold ideas are exchanged, exciting discussions held and new proposals appear.
Art and Science Initiative: ASI aims to bring people from the arts and science communities together in an effort to explore and expand the intersection between these two fields. Whether fostering specific projects that try to address new societal challenges or just travelling in the frontier of science and art, ASI wants to provide an open environment and paltform for collective thought, inquiry and action.
The future of food - Burger. The french artist duo Zim&Zou has kindly offered this image for use in this event. Zim&Zou is composed of Lucie THOMAS and Thibault ZIMMERMANN. The paper-burger is part of their project ‘The Future of Food’ for Icon Magazine 104.
The annual Organic Research Center (ORC) Organic Producers’ Conference is the event where organic and other producers interested in ecological approaches to sustainable food production come together with researchers and advisers to share ideas on making agriculture perform better, for their businesses and society. The 11th Organic Producers' Conference will be held on Wednesday 1st February and Thursday 2nd February 2017 at Conference Aston, Aston University. The title of this year’s conference is ‘Rising to the challenge: Practical organic farming solutions for an uncertain future’.
There will be a specific focus on post-Brexit policy.
Two sessions on “Sustainable food in public catering” will be held on 29 August 2018 at the Royal Geographical Society Annual International Conference, organised by Mark Stein of the University of Salford. Will Nicholson of the FCRN’s Plating up Progress? project will speak during the first session.
For details of speakers and topics, see here for the first session and here for the second session. To attend the sessions, register at the conference as a day delegate or for the full three-day conference. See here for registration details.
The Future Food-Tech summit on 18 and 19 October 2018 in London will bring together global food-tech brands, investors and entrepreneurs who are addressing critical issues facing the food industry. This year’s programme will include events on plant-based and cultured proteins, personalised nutrition, ingredient innovation, gene-editing for health and sustainability, and food waste reduction.
For more details, see here. Early bird registration close on 17 August 2018.