Future of Food

12 Aug 2009

The release of the first UK Food Security Assessment has prompted the government to declare that the nation needs to “radically rethink” its food system in order to have a sustainable future. On Monday, the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Secretary Hilary Benn stated that that the UK needs to seriously change the way food is produced and processed in order to enjoy healthy and affordable food in the coming decades.

The assessment is part of a food-related inquiry that includes Food 2030, an online discussion seeking views on the future of the food system. Published on Monday, the report identifies sustainability of the food supply as the main challenge facing the world, along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the availability and effective use of water to produce food. Mr. Benn urged that a global perspective is required to address food security, and long-term thinking needs to surpass a short-term mindset.

‘Last year the world had a wake-up call with the sudden oil and food price rises. While we know the price of our food, the full environmental costs and the costs to our health are significant and hidden,’ Benn said. ‘We need a radical rethink of how we produce and consume our food.’

‘Globally we need to cut emissions and adapt to the changing climate that will alter what we can grow and where we can grow it. We must maintain the natural resources – soils, water, and biodiversity – on which food production depends.’

‘Our food strategy will need to cover all aspects of our food – production, processing, distribution, retail, consumption and disposal. And that includes the impact on our health, on the environment and future productivity, on how we deal with food waste,” informed Mr. Benn.

The strategy is to be published later this year after the latest round of consultations on October 16.

Australian Food News

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Simone Gie

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