Knowledge for better food systems

Report on ‘Food Citizenship’ by Food Ethics Council

The Food Citizenship report is the result of a ten month inquiry led by the New Citizenship Project with the Food Ethics Council, working with six organisations across the food system to explore a future ‘Citizen’ food system. It explores what could happen if the key players in the food system switched from a consumer to a citizen mindset, generating ideas and testing new approaches to food citizenship.

The authors propose the following:

  • that the idea that people are best understood as consumers is pervasive throughout the food system, particularly in the language we use. 
  • ‘Consumer’ is not a neutral word or idea; it is proven to prime us into behaving with short term, self-interest over our more deeply held values.
  •  The more pervasive the idea of the consumer the more we accept and reinforce a narrow version of ourselves, driven by price and convenience alone.
  • This trap is a root cause of many of the problems of the food system, limiting efforts to change it for the better.

To read the report and find ways to get involved (including a hack session for NGOs on how to influence the food citizenship agenda on 26th September 2017), please go to or get in touch with FCRN member Dan Crossley via

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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