Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Governance and policy

Policy on food incorporates a wide range of direct legislation on, for example, food safety regulation, farming methods, chemical use, production techniques and packaging. Governance of the food system takes place at multiple levels from the international (e.g. international trade agreements) through to the local (e.g. local authority planning policies influencing the siting of food businesses). Governance can encompass both 'hard' and ‘soft’ measures. The former commonly refers to legislation involving mandatory standards, caps, or bans, and economic instruments such as taxes and subsidies. 'Softer' approaches are usually taken to include voluntary standards, encouragement of voluntary industry action, and public education campaigns. In addition to the state, non-state actors including corporations and nongovernmental organisations also make policies that influence the future direction of the food system. To achieve progress towards a more sustainable food system it is essential to have effective and joined up governance of the food system at multiple levels, and across geographic borders and sectors.

23 September 2020

An recording of the launch event for the UK’s National Food Strategy, held on 29 July 2020, is now available online. The National Food Strategy is a year-long review of the UK’s food system. Read more about the review here and read the FCRN’s summary of Part One of the review here.

23 September 2020

This book by FCRN member Paul Behrens uses paired chapters of pessimism and hope to show how much needs to be done to achieve a hopeful future, but how this would involve actively building a healthier and more fulfilling world. The book covers subjects including food, energy, climate and economics.

23 September 2020

This report from the Convention on Biological Diversity summarises the most recent information on trends in biodiversity. It finds that none of the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets - the deadline for most of which is 2020 - have been fully met, although six of the targets have been partially met. It also describes the areas of the targets where progress has been made.

9 September 2020

The UK government has proposed a new law that would require large businesses to prove that their supply chains for commodities (including beef, cocoa, palm oil and soya) do not contain products that have been produced on illegally deforested land. The proposals would cover commodities embedded within other products, such as animals fed on soy or palm oil used as an ingredient.

9 September 2020

This book introduces readers without a background in law to the US laws and regulations that affect the food system, covering environmental, health and agricultural law.

9 September 2020

This report from WWF, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), EAT and Climate Focus finds that by integrating food system interventions into their climate plans, policymakers can improve their chances of meeting their Nationally Determined Contributions as part of the Paris Agreement.

27 August 2020

Professor Corinna Hawkes, Director of the Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London, has launched a new blog called The Better Food Journey. In this blog post, Hawkes discusses the complexities of regulating the marketing of unhealthy food, noting that without advertising, food companies may instead try to compete by cutting prices or adding sugar. The blog post is topical since in July 2020 the UK government announced new restrictions on the advertising of foods high in fat, sugar and salt.

27 August 2020

This open access book explores the emergence and development of the legal concept of fair and equitable benefit-sharing, and its application in agriculture, covering agricultural research and development, land governance and grassroots initiatives.

27 August 2020

This report from US thinktank The Breakthrough Institute suggests federal policy pathways to improve the economic and environmental sustainability of dairy farming in the United States. It estimates the potential job creation and climate mitigation potential of each proposal and finds that, together, the policy proposals could save and create tens of thousands of jobs, while also reducing dairy sector greenhouse gas emissions by tens of millions of tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

27 August 2020

Part One of the UK’s National Food Strategy has now been published. The National Food Strategy is a major review of the food system, leading to new policy recommendations (read about its launch here). Part One contains recommendations for supporting the UK’s food system (focusing on England) through the COVID-19 pandemic as well as advice on preparing for the end of the EU Exit transition period (31 December 2020).

26 August 2020

This paper analyses thousands of nitrogen policies from 186 countries. It finds that environmental nitrogen policies are not well integrated across various domains (such as water and air pollution) and that many agricultural policies encourage the use of nitrogen fertilisers, prioritising food production over environmental protection.

21 July 2020

This book offers an accessible introduction to the field of environmental justice, including chapters on food, agriculture and environmental justice, biodiversity, water, decolonisation, racism and gender.

21 July 2020

This report from the European Alliance to Save Our Antibiotics notes that a no-deal Brexit could lead to an increase in the amount of meat imported to the UK from outside the European Union, in part because of possible tariff cuts and in part because food standards may change. The report finds that antibiotic use per tonne of livestock unit is five times higher in the US than in the UK and also higher than antibiotic use in most European countries.

21 July 2020

This progress report from the UK’s Committee on Climate Change assesses progress in reducing UK greenhouse gas emissions over the past year and makes recommendations on how to ensure the post-COVID-19 recovery is green and resilient. It includes discussions of agriculture, diets and land-use change.

21 July 2020

This modelling study, co-authored by FCRN member Luke Spajic, analyses both the health and environmental outcomes of national dietary guidelines from 85 countries, then compares these outcomes to global health and environmental targets, as well as the outcomes of the diets recommended by the World Health Organisation and the EAT-Lancet Commission. The vast majority of guidelines - 83 in total, or 98% - were found to be incompatible with at least one health or environmental target.

14 July 2020

This paper sets out the results of an event held by UK NGO the Food Ethics Council on 10 June 2020, which discussed the advantages and drawbacks of Universal Basic Income as a way of contributing to fairer food systems.

8 July 2020

US think tank The Breakthrough Institute has published a policy brief on how new federal funding for agricultural research and development in the United States could protect and generate tens of thousands of jobs while also helping roughly halve US agricultural greenhouse gas emissions.

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