Sustainable Development Commission produces final report on a sustainable food policy

March 30th, 2011 by Sustainable Development Commission

(click publication cover to download report)

The Sustainable Development Commission has produced a final report on food matter’s, “Looking Back, Looking Forward – Sustainability and UK food policy 2000-2011“.

The report reviews progress towards sustainable food policy in the UK from 2000 to 2011 .  It concludes that while progress has been made, not enough has occurred to dispel concern about failures to achieve systemic change.

Tim Lang, The SDC’s Food Commissioner and Professor at the Centre for Food Policy, City University said: “The challenge of feeding growing populations healthily while minimising environmental damage – particularly as food and fuel prices continue to rise – should remind governments that this is not a time to step away from tackling our food system. Obesity and climate change are two huge market failures.  Our review of the last decade shows that progress requires the hands-on participation of governments – not a ‘leave it to the market’ approach’.

The Sustainable Development Commission recommendations to the UK Government includes the need to:

  • work with business, civil society organisations and experts to develop ambitious Delivery Plans to support the goal of creating more sustainable UK food systems by 2030
  • Prioritise reversing the decline in UK food production, helping expand vegetable crops sustainably and increasing UK fruit production
  • Enable the meat and dairy industry to reduce its reliance on grain feedstuffs to lower land use and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Work to create local food partnerships to harness local government, health authorities, community groups and local business to meet local sustainability goals
  • Increase efforts to reduce food waste, planning for zero food waste to landfill by 2015
  • Ensure practical food experience in schools including cooking skills and food growing
  • Reflect the cost of ensuring a nutritious and sustainable diet in minimum wage and benefit levels.
  • Mandate health and sustainability standards for all publicly procured food.


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