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Speech from Tim Lang, Professor Food Policy City University of London - GreenCook Launch Event

Speech from Tim Lang, Professor Food Policy City University of London - GreenCook Launch Event

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GreenCook_TimLang GreenCook_TimLang Presentation Transcript

  • Wageningen, November 17th 2010 LAUNCH EVENT
    • Introduction to food & food wastage issues by Prof. Tim Lang – City University of London
    • Food and waste: an introduction
    • Tim Lang
    • Centre for Food Policy, City University London
    • [email_address]
    • Paper to conference ‘GreenCook: a transnational strategy for global sustainable food management’ , Wageningen University & Research Centre (WUR) NL, November 17, 2010
  • My talk
    • Rich countries (us!) have unsustainable food
    • We don’t know what sustainable supply is
    • We don’t know what a sustainable diet is
    • We do know the criteria for judging them
    • This is the context for thinking about waste
    • Waste is a metaphor for lives, health, environment, packaging, resources, food
    • In GreenCook , you need to keep that big picture while focussing on the details of change
    • Big challenges: change, leaders, complexity
  • 1. Where do we start?
  • Waste is part of a picture (UK)
    • Waste from UK homes – c.30% wasted:
      • 6.7 million tonnes of food waste; 40% cannot be recycled;
      • 5.2 million tonnes of food-related packaging
    • source: WRAP 2007
    • Agri-food chain contributes c 18-20% of GHGs
    • Source: T GarnetttCooking Up A Strom (2008)
    • Food consumption accounts for 31% of all consumption related GHG emissions
    • source: EC (2005) life cycle environmental impact of products [EIPRO]
    • Biodiversity loss due to agriculture: land use, genetic concentration etc source: FAO consultation 2010
    • Food is heavy water user:
      • UK agriculture uses 742 million m 3 of water
      • Food & drink industry 155 million m 3 used
    • source: Defra (2007) Water use in the supply chain
    • Different messages for different products at different sectors
    • Source: Sustainable Consumption Institute 2009 pg 22
  • Case study: Walkers Crisps (PepsiCo) aim to reduce CO2 + H20 by 50% in 5 years
    • Source: PepsiCo UK’s Sustainable Agriculture report October 2010 p.5
  • Different hotspots for different products, eg soft drinks
    • Energy: say ‘no’ to non-recyclable can
    • Health: say ‘no’ to drinking it at all
    • Culture: say ‘yes’ to drinking tap water
    • Planning: we need public water fountains
    • Economics: why are soft drinks so cheap?
    • Labour: there are many jobs in soft drinks
  • The food system’s challenge
    • Complexity :
      • Many factors, many considerations
    • Multi-level :
      • local, national, regional, global
    • Multi-actor :
      • State, supply chain, civil society, consumers, professions, etc
    • Split governance :
      • Who is in charge?
  • 2. What do we want? What is a good food system?
  • What is a good food system?
    • Enjoyable
    • Good quality food
    • Food for all
    • Health-enhancing
    • Environmentally OK
    • Not wasted
    • Decent working lives
    • Affordable
    • Affordable
    • Accessible
    • Culturally appropriate
    • Secure & resilient
    • Knowledgeable
  • This is what I call ‘Omni-Standards’ T Lang (2010) Environment & Planning A, August
    • Quality :
    • Taste
    • Seasonality
    • Cosmetic
    • Fresh (?)
    • Identity / authenticity
    • Social values :
    • Pleasure
    • Localness (identity)
    • Animal welfare
    • Working conditions
    • Equality
    • Cost internalisation
    • Trust
    • Environmental :
    • Climate change
    • Water
    • Land use
    • Soil
    • Biodiversity
    • Waste reduction
    • Health :
    • Safety
    • Nutrition
    • Access / affordability
    • Information & education
  • 3. If it is so obvious, why haven’t we got all this?
  • 10k years of food supply change
    • Settled agric ( 8500 BCE ff)
    • Iron age (5000–6000 BCE)
    • Feudal & peasant agriculture (varies by region & empire)
    • Industrial Revolution (C18th)
    • Chemical Revolution (C19 th )
    • Mendelian genetics (1860s but applied C20 th )
    • Oil era (C20 th )
    • Green Rev’n (1960s ff)
    • Modern livestock revolution (1980s ff)
    • Emerging
    • Ecological (C21 st ?)
    • Biotechnology (C21 st ?)
  • Unlocking the ‘lock-in’: who will make the first move? (SDC )
  • Rev. Dr Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798) Dr Karl Marx (1818-1883) Political economist Fr Gregor Mendel (1822-1884) M onk, gardener, geneticist An old debate (the 3 M’s): supply-people-land-technology:
  • C19th Agricultural progressives Sir John Bennet Lawes (1803-1873) agricultural research Rothamsted UK Justus von Liebig (1803-1873) chemist Giessen Germany
  • C19th Healthy cities progressives Rudolf Virchow (1821 – 1902 ) Public health physician, Berlin Sir Joseph Bazalgette (1819 - 1891) Sewerage engineer London Edwin Chadwick (1800-1890) Civil servant author of Public Health Act 1848 London
  • C20 th reformers: produce more for health and social justice John Boyd Orr (1880-1971) public health researcher 1 st D-G of FAO Sicco Mansholt (1908-1995) 1 st European Agriculture Commissioner for 1958-1972
  • The Productionist Paradigm: 1930s model after: Lang & Heasman ( 2004)Food Wars
    • Science + capital  output  distribution - waste  cheaper food  health
    • = progress
  • Productionism has had many modifications
    • On the land:
      • Norman Borlaug et al: Green Revolution
        • Hybrid plant technology, agrichemicals, fertilisers
    • Off the land:
      • Retail revolution:
        • Logistics, just-in-time,
    • Consumers:
      • Expectations:
        • Marketing, advertising, product formulation
  • 4. But these modifications are now in crisis
  • C21 st ‘New Fundamentals’ Chatham House Food project 2006-09 etc
    • Climate change
    • Fuel / oil / energy
    • Water
    • Land use
    • Biodiversity
    • Labour
    • Population (9bn 2050)
    • Urbanisation
    • Affluence (BRICs +)
    • Inequality
    • Nutrition transition
    • Healthcare costs
    • Waste
  • Food’s contribution to total UK GHGs source: T Garnett (2008) Cooking Up a Storm
  • Embedded water in food source: Chapagain & Hoekstra 2004
  • Culture change: eg packaged / non-packaged foods , by country income level Source: Regmi & Gelhar 2005
  • Modern food culture: celebrities, burgerisation, supermarketisation
  • 5. This complex picture involves everyone
  • Policy positions in UK vary
    • ‘ It’s all dangerous, so avoid, ignore & resist ’:
      • Small business, some big business, right wing
    • ‘ Business-as-usual’ (consumer responsibility):
      • Pragmatists, some sections of business
    • ‘ Sustainable intensification ’:
      • Chief Scientist’s Foresight project (reports late 2010), FAO Sust’ble Crop Intensific’n Div
    • ‘ Whole system change ’:
      • Policy outer circle eg SDC, NGOs, green business
  • The politics of change
    • Is the necessary change already underway?
      • can we ‘leave it to Tesco / Leclerc / Lidl et al ’?
    • Will ‘nudge’ be enough?
      • Is small behaviour change enough?
    • Do we work on consumers?
      • do we champion ‘choice editing’ not choice?
    • Must we eat differently?
      • if so, what dietary change is needed?
    • Do we do all these because it’s urgent?
  • If serious, we’ll change … … from … … to… and Nutrition guidelines Eco-nutrition guidelines linking calories with carbon Big waste Zero waste Land fill, taxes Food products Total diet Eco-brand images Control green claims Verifiable standards Advertising and marketing Global all year sourcing Sustainable seasonality Defining sustainability Low cost food as a good Full cost accounting Consumer expectations
  • We’ll change what & how we eat FOOD WHY WHAT Meat Cancer; water; land use Offer less; mainly or only grass-fed Coffee / tea Water; imperialism Less; only fair trade; drink water Fruit All year round? Seasonal Fish Health vs. fish stock collapse Eat less; only MSC?; alternatives Vegetables Health; water; GHGs; Kenyan beans? Seasonal greens
  • This means tackling consumer culture: sensitive but overdue
    • Consumer choice is central ideological issue
      • Consumer sovereignty key to neo-liberal model
    • Consumer change is being mooted by:
      • WWF one planet diet campaign
      • SDC Setting the Table report (2009)
      • Defra Food 2030 (Jan 2010); but now on hold
    • Rise of ‘democratic experimentalism’:
      • Vancouver 100 mile diet, Fife Diet, et al
      • Eco-nutrition eg Barilla, CSPI, FAO SustDiet draft
  • 6. Awareness of change is growing but there is resistance too
  • Governments start to act?
      • Sweden publishes Environmentally Effective Food Choices ( 2009) = 1 st Sustainable Diet document
        • Appeals to responsible consumers & agri-food chain
    • Germany: Council on SD’s shopping advice
    • NL: Towards Sustainable Production & Consumption (June 2008):
      • business, research-led, technical approach to food quality
    • France:
      • INRA-CIRAD sustainable food systems (2009-11)
    • Australia:
      • Driven by climate change concerns eg water
  • Euro Food Sustainable Consumption & Production Roundtable (CIAA) aims
    • “ to facilitate agreement on uniform and scientifically reliable environmental assessment methodologies for food products ”.
    • “ We want to put an end to consumers seeing inconsistent environmental information on products”
    • & “ identify suitable means of voluntary communication to consumers”.
    • CIAA Press Release 26/02/2009 “Key food chain partners to launch sustainability roundtable”.
  • EU Sustainable Consumption & Production (SCP) & Sustainable Industrial Policy Action Plan COM (2008) 397 final
    • Lisbon Strategy - economic growth & jobs
    • EU Sustainable Development Strategy (2006)
    • - Priority:
    • Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP)
    • Emphasise voluntary initiatives:
      • EU Eco Label - might include food from 2011
      • Greening Public Procurement
      • Supply chains’ environmental efficiencies
      • Consumer awareness raising
    • Public procurement for a better environment COM(2008) 400/2.
  • Civil society / NGOs
    • Bubbling UK ‘democratic experimentalism’
      • Sustain: www.sustainweb.org.uk
      • WWF: One Planet Diet
      • CIWF: ‘eat less meat’ campaign
      • Fife Diet (Vancouver 100 mile diet)
      • Food4Life project (2006-11): school food
    • International NGO debates about:
      • Need to go beyond ingredients to processes
      • Full labelling being too complex; can lead to ‘blame the consumer’? [SDC agrees]
  • 7. What do we say to consumers?
  • We need new cultural ‘rules’
    • Cut down on meat & dairy (Stern)
    • More plants (fruit and veg) = ‘win, win’
    • Eat more locally but seasonably
    • Biodiversity in the field & onto the plate
    • Build exercise into shopping (NL model)
    • Drink tap water not bottled drinks
    • Accept price signals will change
  • Conclusions
    • GreenCook is at a good time
    • Because the food system is failing precisely when it is seen to be such a success
    • Your project has to be about culture change
    • No sector can claim to be pure or good
    • Changing consumers is hard
    • The politics is even harder
    • We have to unlock the lock-in
    • Thanks!
    • [email_address]