Showing results for: Food chain stage
The food chain describes the physical flow of goods from agriculture through processing and distribution, to retailing to eventual consumption and waste disposal. The papers and reports in this category highlight the different issues and impacts associated with each particular stage of the food chain.
This evidence review, commissioned by DEFRA and undertaken by the consultancy Best Foot Forward, critically assesses and summarises data around two key objectives:
- What are the ‘hotspots’ (i.e. points of greatest environmental impact) along the food consumer journey?
- What mechanisms are available and most effective for influencing consumer behaviour at those hotspots?
This report is part of a series of annual progress reports by the Adaptation Sub-Committee to assess how the UK is preparing for the major risks and opportunities from climate change. Together these reports will provide the baseline evidence for the Committee’s statutory report to Parliament on preparedness due in 2015.
The book summary says the following: Farmers' Rights are essential for maintaining crop genetic diversity, which is the basis of all food and agricultural production in the world. The International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture recognizes Farmers' Rights and provides for relevant measures. However, implementation is slow, and in many countries there is resistance. This book shows the necessity of realizing Farmers' Rights for poverty alleviation and food security, the practical possibilities of doing so, and the potential gains for development and society at large.
A paper published in the Journal of Applied Ecology finds that grassland plots planted with a mixture of several agricultural plant species produced a greater yield than plots planted with a single species. The EU-funded study explored whether different combinations and proportions of agricultural plants can lead to higher yields with lower input of fertilisers and more efficient use of land. Intensively managed agricultural grasslands, cultivated to provide food for livestock, have the potential to support, or damage, a range of ecosystem services, depending on how they are managed.
Following the release last year of the report on ‘Sustainable Intensification in Agriculture’ by the FCRN and the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, around 30 experts in this field, from academic, governmental, NGO and industrial organisations, were asked to give their comments on the report.
The debate on land sharing versus land sparing is ongoing and we addressed the issue somewhat in our Agroforestry interview a while back. This blog post by journalist and author Fred Pearce highlights some of the recent years’ debate and presents evidence from various parts of the world, either in favor of sparing or sharing land.
The UK’s Department of Health has launched a new, standardised but voluntary labelling scheme for displaying nutritional information on food products, the aim being to make make it easier for people to make healthier choices. The system when it goes on display will combine red, amber, green colour-coding and nutritional information to show how much fat, saturated fat, salt and sugar, and calories are in food products.
This study presents different ways of presenting information on food calories and assesses how useful consumers find them. It showed participants of 3 groups the calorie content of a ham sandwich, displaying this information in different formats as shown in the diagram below.
Yet another paper adding to the growing body of evidence that productionist approaches to addressing food security challenges are unlikely to be sufficient (at least not without unacceptable environmental cost). Shifts towards more plant based diets and measures to address food waste are also needed.
Presentations from the UK’s Agricultural Technology Strategy event on 21st May are now available on ESKTN _connect sustainable intensification in agriculture website. They can be downloaded from the document library here. Look for the folder entitled: UK Agricultural Technology Strategy event 21st May 2013.
Eating out, in restaurants and canteens is growing in importance in many countries. This raises the need to understand and to put in place measures to address the environmental impacts of this development.
Europe is reforming its biofuels policy due to concerns raised about its impact on global land use change patterns and global food markets. The negative environmental impacts of the biofuels policy have been well demonstrated, but what is less clear are the economic implications.
A new 90,000-square-foot indoor farm called FarmedHere has recently opened in Chicago and is expected to produce 1 million pounds a year of organic greens like basil, lettuce, mint, and spinach. It is also expected that it will provide hundreds of local jobs.
Consumers influence climate change through their consumption patterns and their support or dismissal of climate mitigation policy measures. Both climate-friendly actions and policy support comprise a broad range of options, which vary in manifold ways and, therefore, might be influenced by different factors.
A report by the European Environment Agency finds that emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases from the shipping sector have increased substantially in the last two decades, contributing to both climate change and air pollution problems.
A new study suggests that enriching crops by adding a naturally-occurring soil mineral to fertilisers could potentially help to reduce disease and premature death in Malawi. Dietary deficiency of the mineral selenium plays a vital role in keeping the immune system healthy and fighting illness and is likely to be endemic among the Malawi population.
This is interesting, although not perhaps surprising, study finding that consumers are more likely to perceive an unhealthy food such as a candy bar as more healthful when it has a green coloured calorie label compared with when it had a red one - even though the number of calories are the same. And green coloured labels increase the perceived healthfulness of foods, especially among consumers who place high importance on healthy eating.
Tom MacMillan, the Soil Association’s Head of Innovation has written a blog for the UK research councils’ Food Security website where he profiles the Association’s Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme, which it is running in partnership with the Organic Research Centre and supported by the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.
This report says that Europe’s high consumption levels of products such as meat, dairy and textiles that require large areas of land, mean that Europe’s 'land footprint' remains one of the largest in the world. The report finds that the EU is importing the equivalent of 1,212,050 square kilometres to meet its demand for food.