Knowledge for better food systems

The role of government in transforming the food system

This report from UK animal welfare organisation Compassion in World Farming sets out its vision of how the UK government can contribute to making the food system more “nourishing, sustainable, equitable and humane”. 

It notes that the current food system has many negative impacts on dietary health, soil health, biodiversity, climate change, farmers and animal welfare.

It makes several recommendations to the government, including:

  • Develop integrated policies rather than forming policies only within separated departments, in order to avoid conflicts between different policies
  • Develop information programmes to improve public understanding of the sustainability impacts of different farming systems and dietary choices
  • Mandatory food labelling to indicate farming methods
  • End misleading food labelling regarding animal welfare
  • Counter the promotion of unhealthy diets by retailers.

Read the full report, Turning the Food System Round: The role of government in evolving to a food system that is nourishing, sustainable, equitable and humane, here. See also the UK’s National Food Strategy and associated review process, and the Foodsource chapter How can we reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions?

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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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