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.

5 September 2013

Achieving food system sustainability is a global priority but there are different views on how it might be achieved. Broadly three perspectives are emerging, defined here as: efficiency oriented, demand restraint and food system transformation. These reflect different conceptualisations on what is practically achievable, and what is desirable, underpinned by different values and ideologies about the role of technology, our relationship with nature and fundamentally what is meant by a ‘good life.’ 

24 July 2013

The workshop was carried out as part of an Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food project on consumer engagements with food governance. The Oxford Food Governance Group project aims to elucidate the emerging forms, roles, and uses of food-related information and communication technologies (ICT) at the consumer level, and how they might shape the EU food governance landscape in years to come.

24 July 2013

This paper finds that many of stocks in the northeast Atlantic are being fished sustainably today and that, given time, those populations should continue to recover. This is particularly positive news as there has long been widespread criticism that the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy is failing.

16 July 2013

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?
16 July 2013

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.

8 July 2013

This report by Forum for the Future’s Stephanie Draper focuses on how the challenges within the food system can best be tackled and how to make it more sustainable. The report proposes looking at systems innovation to find solutions and it identifies challenges in the current food system ranging from feeding a growing population while coping with the impacts of climate change, to providing secure and affordable energy to all while reducing C02 emissions.

2 July 2013

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.

18 June 2013

This paper focuses on how countries can take practical steps to adapt their agriculture to climate change even in the face of considerable uncertainties in the climate models as to how change will play out on the ground for farmers. Amid fears of wasted investments and imprecise science (which themselves become politically motivated excuses for inaction), it shows how countries can adopt a  ‘regret-free’ approach to adapting agriculture to climate change – actions that will benefit farmers and society regardless of specifically how and when climate change plays out on the ground. The paper notes that this very uncertainty often becomes an excuse for inaction.

30 May 2013

For those interested in the current EU CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) reforms, you may find this blog useful. It provides news, views and analysis relating to what is going on, bringing together the work of researchers, activists and analysts from across Europe and elsewhere.

21 May 2013

This book offers a broad introduction to food policies in the United States. Real-world controversies and debates motivate the book’s attention to economic principles, policy analysis, nutrition science and contemporary data sources. It assumes that the reader's concern is not just the economic interests of farmers, but also includes nutrition, sustainable agriculture, the environment and food security.

13 May 2013

Europe’s food industry workers and manufacturers, represented by the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT), and FoodDrinkEurope respectively, have issued a joint statement opposing what they see as “discriminatory taxes” introduced by some EU member states to discourage the consumption of certain foods, in favour of “broader measures to encourage responsible eating habits and positive behavioural change among consumers in Europe.”

8 May 2013

Audit and tax advisory company KPMG has reported on the findings of its first Green Tax Index.  This was created by KPMG to increase awareness of the complex, fragmented and rapidly evolving green tax landscape worldwide. It aims to encourage companies to explore the opportunities of green tax incentives, and to reduce exposure to green tax penalties. The tool analyses green tax incentives and penalties in 21 major economies, focusing on key policy areas such as energy efficiency, water efficiency, carbon emissions, green innovation and green buildings.

8 May 2013

A new special issue on food security has been published in the Journal of Rural Studies. It provides a rural social science contribution to the food security debate. The papers focus on food security in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Italy.

7 May 2013

A report by the UK consumer group Which? calls for a new approach to how food issues are handled to give consumer interests much greater priority, based on:

  • Strong Government leadership and a clear food strategy;
  • Effective consumer engagement on food issues;
22 April 2013

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.

15 April 2013

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) has released a podcast and power point presentation following a seminar held last week on the theme of "Food as a Commodity, Human Right or Common Good? Implications for Hunger Eradication".

15 April 2013

Reducing the cost of healthy foods in supermarkets and retail outlets increases the amount of healthy fruits, vegetables and whole grains that people eat while lowering consumption of foods with low nutritional value, say researchers at RAND Corporation South Africa.

18 March 2013

Members may be interested in the various publications of the SPREAD project. This is an EU sponsored iniatiative that seeks to provide a social platform for research and engagement on sustainable consumption. 

29 January 2013

A new FCRN article – “Food sustainability: problems, perspectives and solutions” –  has been published in the journal Proceedings of the Nutrition Society.

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