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Government should be ‘reinforcing a sense of urgency’ on sustainable food



A major new report has highlighted some key principles by which the government should centre its food sustainability policies.

Commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and written by experts from the industry, the study says the government should provide leadership while “reinforcing a sense of urgency” on key issues.

It identifies obstacles that hinder sustainability, such as consumer waste and irresponsible practices within the food industry.

It also has a focus on buying food from British sources, saying that a better articulation of the environmental benefits of doing so should be stressed by retailers in a way that “resonates with consumer concerns.”

It adds, “Government, business and civil society must come together to deal with the difficult issues.”

Kirtana Chandrasekaran, food campaigner at Friends of the Earth, welcomed the report, saying that it “highlights a clear link between a healthy diet and a healthy environment – ministers must now get on with the important task of improving the nation’s eating habits.”

She added, “Moderating UK meat-consumption must be top of the menu. This would be much better for people’s wellbeing and reduce the livestock industry’s huge impact on climate change and the wider environment.”

The report comes after the chief executive of the National Farmers’ Union warned of the threat that extreme weather poses to the farming industry.

Further reading:

Farming chief says extreme weather threatens UK agriculture

Are crop yield trends on track to meet future demand?

Tackle food waste to tackle inequality, government report says

World wasting up to half of global food

Calls for sustainable investment to prevent unmanageable demand for food


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