Presentatie Tim Lang

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Presentatie Tim Lang

  1. 1. 1 The Future of Sustainable and Healthy Eating Some reflections on the UK debate about Sustainable Diet Policies, Priorities & Strategies Tim Lang Centre for Food Policy, City University London Voedingscentrum10th anniversary conference ‘Together we explore the Future’, held on the SS De Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, November 16, 2010
  2. 2. 2 Introduction • 2000s: UK slowly realises C20th food is unsustainable • But what is a sustainable (low impact+healthy) diet? • What do we do about it, if we knew? – Leave it to markets? – Have a strong force (Govt, companies)? – Do nothing? • The C20th food system is in stress (new/old): – Environment: climate change, H2O, soil, etc – Health: from under-consumption to over- & mal-cons’n – Social: inequalities are high within & between countries – Economy: prices don’t reflect those tensions let alone £/$ • Policy frameworks are contradictory but… • Sust Diets has crawled onto the UK policy agenda • The Coalition Government is pushing it back (May’10)
  3. 3. 33 Cabinet Office 2008 report: what made this happen?
  4. 4. UK Government policy, 2000s 4
  5. 5. 5 1. The growth of UK policy on sustainable food production & consumption From fragments to ‘low carbon + healthy’
  6. 6. 2000s: tectonic plates move • Environment: climate change, soil, water etc. • Resilience: 2000 Lorry strike ‘5 days from shortages’ – Food resilience in question:  MoD / Cranfield Defra study / Chatham House • Economy: 2006-08 commodity price spike Food Matters (HMT PMSU):  Companies worry about UK buying power • Health: 2000-07 obesity crisis grows  National Audit Office (2001), Wanless (2002+04), CMO (2003), Commons Health Comm.ee (2004), Chief Scientist’s Foresight report (2008) 6
  7. 7. Meanwhile, institutional reform • 1990s: MAFF in crisis over food safety, BSE… • 1997: Blair and ‘new’ Labour elected • 2000: creation of FSA, Environ’t Agency, SDC • 2001: Curry Commission focus on enviro + farm modernisation • 2006-08: global food rises  G Brown review • 2008: Cabinet Office Food Matters report • 2009: SDC Setting the Table  Integrated Advice to Consumers 7
  8. 8. 8 2. Slow realisation sustainable production is not enough. Sustainable consumption has to be addressed
  9. 9. Policy has a difficult mix: • A material world with limits • A biological world which is fragile • Human physiology created c.500k yrs ago • A food system delivering ‘feast day’ food daily • Price signals which don’t internalise costs • Advertising and marketing distorting needs by amplifying wants • Government reluctant to direct consumers • Consumers who believe they have choice 9
  10. 10. The result? • Unsustainable Food Production • Unsustainable Food Supply Chains • Unsustainable modes of Retailing • Unsustainable Diets • Unsustainable Waste 10
  11. 11. 11 3. What can we do?
  12. 12. What can we do? Options • Focus on consumers? – Label, educate, inform, appeal to do ‘right thing’ • Focus upstream? – Change food composition, ‘choice-edit’ • Alter land use? – Meat & dairy are key ‘hotspot • Do nothing? – But pressure is building up • Leave it to EU? Others? 12
  13. 13. 13 T Lang view: this requires ‘Omni- Standards’ across food 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
  14. 14. 14 Complexity could be done: OmniStandards in a label + traffic lights source: Sustain © 2007
  15. 15. 15 UK public consciousness Current appeals • Eat locally • Dieting • Low / no meat • Sustainable fish • Organics • Waste & recycling • Old ways of eating Connotations with the past • World War 2 diets • Rationing • Thrift (due to constraint) • The past
  16. 16. 16 4. This is the terrain the SDC’s Setting the Table report set out to clarify
  17. 17. 1717 UK’s Sustainable Development Commission project 2009 • A scoping project – ie opening not final words • Taking issue across gov’t: DH, FSA, Defra, EA etc • Contracted to Oxford University BHF HPG • 3 processes: – Literature review – Stakeholder consultation – Review existing positions & interventions • Developed a hierarchy of priorities • Report done, consulted + Govt and sent to Defra
  18. 18. 1818 Key findings • no definition of ‘sustainable diet’ yet agreed but stakeholders see need for one • Identified 10 key guidelines for sustainable diets • Reviewed 44 published academic research studies and reports • Found more positive synergies (win-wins) than tensions (win-lose) eg – Lowering consumption of low nutritional value foods (fatty/sugary foods & drinks) has mainly +ve impacts on health, environment and reducing social inequalities. • Found gaps in the evidence, most notably with respect to economic impacts of dietary changes. • Produced a 3-level hierarchy of behavioural impact
  19. 19. 1919 Identified existing UK framework guidelines = ‘soft’ cultural advice • Consume less food and drink • Accept different notions of quality • Accept variability of supply • Shop on foot or over the internet • Cook and store foods in energy conserving ways • Prepare food for more than one person and for several days • Reduce food waste • Reduce consumption of meat and dairy products • Reduce consumption of food and drinks with low nutritional value • Reduce consumption of bottled water
  20. 20. 2020 Changes where health, environmental, economic and social impacts are likely to complement each other: • Reduce consumption of meat & dairy products • Reduce food & drink of low nutritional value (fatty, sugary foods + tea, coffee & alcohol) • Reduce food waste.
  21. 21. 2121 Changes likely to have a significant positive sustainability impact, but where gains in one area might have a more negative impact elsewhere: • Increase fruit & veg consumption, particularly seasonal and field grown • Consume only fish from sustainable stocks • Eat more foods produced with respect for wildlife & environment e.g. organic food
  22. 22. 2222 Changes making smaller contribution to dietary sustainability, with largely complementary effects across issues • Reduce energy input by shopping on foot or over the internet • Cook & store food in energy conserving ways • Drinking tap water instead of bottled water
  23. 23. 2323 Reviewed practical initiatives • Found 40 on sustainable food supply – Govt  local food growing projects • Assessed 12 for the breadth of sustainability • Only 3 initiatives had good sustainability scope • Few had adequately evaluated possible impacts • Some +ve moves towards consistency – eg Healthier Food Mark for public sector caterers
  24. 24. 2424 Recommendations include: • DA(F) to oversee cross-Govt guidelines – Step 1: FSA Eatwell Plate become Sust Diet – Step 2: develop full sustainability guidance • Defra, FSA, DAs – seek EU position – develop evidence on behaviour change • Food Research Partnership explore ‘hotspots’ eg meat & dairy, fish, soy, palm • Explore implications for consumer behaviour and supply chains
  25. 25. 25 5. Where to now?
  26. 26. 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’: (production focus) – 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 business26
  27. 27. If we are serious, Sust Diet means… 27 Change from … …to… …with trouble ahead over… Nutrition guidelines Eco-nutrition guidelines linking calories with carbon 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
  28. 28. 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; labour conditions 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 28
  29. 29. 29 Companies engaging • International companies: – 2002: SAI launched Groupe Danone, Nestlé, Unilever – 2009 (Oct 16): G30 top TNCs initiative Coca-Cola, Tesco, Unilever, News International – 2010: World Economic Forum process (out 2011) • UK companies: – 2007: IGD Food Industry Sustainability Strategy Champions Group focus on low carbon + ethics – 2008: Tesco gives £25m Manchester SCI – 3 retailers’ choice-edit M&S Plan A, Co-operative Group, Waitrose • A product specific approach, not overall diet
  30. 30. Governments start to act (but focus on consumer choice) • Sweden publishes Environmentally Effective Food Choices (2009) = 1st Sustainable Diet document • Appeals to responsible consumers & agri-food chain • Germany: Council on SD’s shopping advice • NL: Towards Sustainable Production & Consumption (June 2008) • France: INRA-CIRAD sustainable food systems (2009-11) • UK: Integrated Advice to Consumers (led by Food Standards Agency) 30
  31. 31. Civil society / NGOs • Bubbling UK ‘democratic experimentalism’ – Sustain: www.sustainweb.org.uk – WWF: One Planet Diet – CIWF: ‘eat less meat’ campaign – Friends of the Earth: 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] 31
  32. 32. 32 6. Meanwhile a new UK government is elected (May 2010)
  33. 33. New Coalition Government • Focus on cuts: – Axeing central gov’t and arms-length bodies – FSA, HPA, SDC, RCEP, CFPA, SACN, etc • Hints that Food 2030 strategy to remain in some form with focus on delivery • Health Responsibility Deals to ‘work with not against business’ (Alcohol, fitness, food, behaviour, work) • Infrastructure uncertainties ahead – Research, Skills, Education, Standards 33
  34. 34. Policy future is less certain • Language of ‘Sustainable Diets’ is out, but ‘low impact diets’ might be in • It’s unclear what this means: – Omni-standards or just low carbon? • Meanwhile some business worries & acts: – PepsiCo UK commits to lower many impacts by 50% in 5 years (but not to sell less Pepsi!) – Tesco audits for embedded water – Sainsbury has its ‘Storecard’ (private system) – M&S Plan A, Co-op, etc = ‘choice editing’ 34
  35. 35. Conclusions • Food system symbolises wider challenges – It’s complex but not incomprehensible – It requires multi-level /-sector /-disciplinary work – It links material, biological, cognitive and social • The UK discourse on Sust Diets is normal: faltering, subject to pressure, messy, but interesting • Can we generate leadership & incentives? Yes, but how and who acts is up for grabs 35
  36. 36. 36 Thanks! t.lang@city.ac.uk

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